Hunslet    Works No 1589 Newstead 0-6-0ST

Hunslet 1589 at NCB Woolley Colliery June 1971.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1929 by the Nunslet Engine Company as a 16inch cylinder 0-6-0 saddle tank. It was given the name Newstead.

It spent its working life based at Woolly Colliery at Darton in West Yorkshire. Coal mining there goes back to 1850 and where several coal seam outcrops on the hillside were mined on a small scale before railway transportation began. The pit grew to become one of the largest in West Yorkshire; in 1980, it employed 1514 men underground and 428 on the surface. It was at Woolly Colliery that Arthur Scargill started work as aged 14 in 1953 before he progressed to become the NUM leader. The pit closed in 1987.

The locomotive was withdrawn from service at Woolly Colliery in 1970. It was bought by Malcolm Saul in 1972 who sold a steam roller to finance the purchase. Newstead was steamed a couple of times after overhaul at Suffolk Steam, and was then removed to a secret location close to where the owner lived. The location was the garden of a convent in Hertfordshire where the locomotive was placed on rails and then had a shed built around it.

By the 1990s there was a common held view that Newstead had been scrapped as nothing was known about it. The Industrial Railway publication of 2006 ((Industrial Locomotives including preserved and minor railway locomotives) identifies the locomotive as being owned by M Saul and based at Wengo Lane in Ware.

The owner of Newstead died in 2015 and his widow was left with the job of finding a home for the collection which included Newstead.

Through a family friend, several railways were contacted with regards to the locomotive, and delegations from the North Norfolk Railway and the Mid Suffolk went view it.

Representatives of the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) Small Locomotive Group went to see the locomotive and after this the NVR Board agreed to acquire the locomotive and move it to the Nene Valley Railway in April 2016. Shortly afterwards it was placed on static display on the NVR.

At this time the media (including ITV and BBC) all had stories on how a locomotive that was thought to be lost had been found.

An overhaul of the locomotive was started on the NVR but the railway subsequently declined to host the overhaul. As a result it is expected that the locomotive will move to a new home in the next few weeks to allow the overhaul to re-start.

The locomotive, which is owned by Alex Alder, was moved to the Spa Valley Railway in 2019 where the overhaul of it continued. The overhaul is being undertaken by a small group of individuals who are keen to see the locomotive steam again. Appropriately the group can be contacted at

In September 2022 the boiler was sent to Road Steam UK in Wiltshire for a contract overhaul. At the same time the saddle tank was dispatched to Beever Ltd in Tunbridge Wells for internal gritblasting and painting.

Hunslet 1589 at NCB Woolley Colliery June 1971.jpg
1589 at NCB Woolley Colliery – June 1971
Hunslet 1589.jpg
1589 at Wansford on the Nene Valley Railway – May 2016
Hunslet 1982 Ring Haw on right and Hunslet 1589 Newstead on the left at the Spa Valley Railway – 2019

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