Hudswell Clarke    Works No 1742 Millom 0-4-0ST

Hudswell Clarke 1742  Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.jpg

Built 1946    Buckinghamshire Railway Centre -expected to return to steam 2017

This locomotive was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1946 for the Ministry of Supply. It was originally deployed at the West Chirton depot near Wallsend

After two years it was moved to the WD Proof and Experimental Establishment, Eskmeals in Cumberland (now Cumbria). In February 1957, it was deemed surplus to requirements and sold to the Millom and Askham Haematite and Iron Co Ltd.

After delivery to the ironworks, the engine was stored until 1963, then given a full overhaul and set to work at the Hodbarrow ironstone mine. When Hodbarrow closed, the locomotive returned to Millom and at about this time it gained a set of buffers from a Sentinel locomotive. In 1968 Millom Haematite ceased operation so 1742 became surplus to requirements.

The locomotive was sold by the receivers to a Quainton Railway Society (QRS) member and it arrived at Quainton in March 1970. Two other locomotives from Millom Haematite, David and Alexandra, both 0-4-0ST Barclay locomotives, are preserved at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. It was then that the locomotive was given the name Millom.

Operating from Easter 1970, the locomotive gave valuable service during the formative years of the Quainton Railway Centre but inevitably, as with all working locomotives, an overhaul became necessary, and the engine had to be withdrawn from service. During this time the locomotive became the property of the QRS. It needed some fairly major work to be done on the firebox and so it was cosmetically restored as a static exhibit.

Millom’s boiler was sent to a specialist contractor, Maskell’s of Bedford, who confirmed that the boiler and firebox were sound. The boiler was then re-tubed and had a successful hydraulic test in November 2006 and out of frames steam test in December 2006. During restoration it at first appeared that the frames were bent or out of line, due to the uneven main bearing wear. Subsequent investigations revealed that the wheel diameters were in fact 3/8 of an inch smaller on the right hand side of the locomotive. This had caused the accelerated wear of the main bearings on the left-hand side of the locomotive, to the extent that the bearings had worn away the oil groves.

The wheels where sent to the Flour Mill workshops for turning of the tyres and journals, and at the same time a pattern made for replacement axle box crown bearings. The wheels were refitted in January 2007, followed by the valve gear being erected in late that month. The boiler was reunited with the frames at the end of March 2007. The locomotive finally moved under its own steam for the first time since the early 1970’s in November 2007, with the last major milestone being a successful test with a fully operational vacuum brake system at the end of January 2008.

Millom returned to operation in 2008 and has since and spent some time running at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton and travelling to other heritage railways.

The locomotive was been then stripped for its 10 year inspection. By September 2016 the boiler successfully passed its out of frames steam test in front of the boiler inspector later that month before being reassembled.

Millom was operational again in 2017.

Hudswell Clarke 1742 at Quainton - May 1990.jpg
1742 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – May 1990
Hudswell Clarke 1742  Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.jpg
1742 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – July 2011
1742 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – September 2013
1742 at Furnace sidings on the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway – September 2018
1742 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – October 2020

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