Hawthorn Leslie     Works No 3860   Associated Portland Cement at Swanscombe No 6 0-4-0ST

Hawthorn Leslie 3860 Swanscombe Works September 1970

This was one of a number of locomotives supplied by Hawthorn Leslie to the Associated Portland Cement Company (APC) of Swanscombe, Kent. This one being supplied in 1935. The locomotives worked on the site until the opening of a new works and the introduction of diesels made them redundant.

The Swanscombe quarry subsequently became the site for Bluewater shopping centre.

The earlier Hawthorn Leslie locomotives were constructed with two outside cylinders of 16in x 24in, 3ft 3in diameter driving wheels and a weight of 25tons whereas this one had 15in diameter cylinders and 3ft 4in diameter wheels and weighed 33tons.

The locomotive was gifted/purchased from APCM in 1971 to work on the Middleton Railway.

It was in service on the Middleton Railway for four years before being withdrawn for an overhaul. The overhaul did not commence until 2001 and is still ongoing.

In 2018 the Middleton Railway announced that they had raised enough funds to complete the overhaul of the locomotive.

In March 2019 the boiler was sent away for the replacement of the outer firebox sides and other work.

In January 2020 it was reported that its boiler was in its final stages of being overhauled at Northern Steam Engineering and would be returned to the Middleton Railway early in 2020.

The refurbished boiler was fitted back on the locomotive by September 2020 and it was then considered that the engine would be back in traffic in 2021.

Hawthorn Leslie 3860 Swanscombe Works September 1970
3860 at Swanscombe Works – September 1970
Hawthorn Leslie 3860 at the Middleton Railway - March 1989.jpg
3860 at the Middleton Railway – March 1989
3860 at the Middleton Railway – October 2018

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