This locomotive was built in 1944 by the Hunslet Engine Company for the Ministry of Defence. It then entered service as WD 75141.
See LNER class J94 for details.
After the war the locomotive carried the number 139 in line with the renumbering of the Ministry of Defence locomotives.
It is known that it was rebuilt by the Hunslet Engine Company in 1964 based on the work done on Works No 3883. The rebuild was the result of a bid to meet stringent restrictions on smoke emissions.
The Argentinian, Ing. L.D.Porta was commissioned by the Hunslet company to design certain modifications. Following the company becoming aware of Porta technology when, unsuccessfully, bidding for the contract to build the second batch of 75cm gauge 2-10-2 locomotives for RFIRT, Argentina.
Research suggests the locomotives may not have been quite as Porta would have wished. It is felt something could have been lost ‘in the translation’ between Argentina and the UK. However despite some shortcomings these locomotives did serve an important purpose in the development of steam. They were the very first application of Porta’s work outside of his native Argentina.
The rebuild involved fitting a form of Kylpor ejector system and the provision of a underfeed stoker with a modification the coal bunker to allow a hopper feed to the stoker.
Locomotive No.3883 was sent to BR Swindon in late January 1963 and for a week in February 1963 it was utilised as Swindon MPD pilot locomotive. This period allowed experiments to be undertaken with various coal sizes. Later in February the locomotive was formally handed over to the BR Research Department (Swindon) for controlled road test. The testing was undertaken over the approximately 18 miles stretch of mainline between Yarnton and Kingham on the Oxford – Worcester mainline, today called the Cotswold Line.
Tests on Works Number 3883 demonstrated significant improvements over a standard locomotive with a steaming rate of 12,000lbs/hour being achieved compared with 6,000lbs/hour for an unmodified locomotive. A maximum output of 898hp was recorded, a very impressive figure for what was a shunting locomotive. These tests were the last time a steam locomotive was formally tested by British Railways with a dynamometer car.
There appears to be little details on the history of the works No 3192/3888 but it is suggested it was at Dinting at one stage. When I was doing the initial research for this site I found that the Industrial Society publication “Industrial Locomotives including preserved and minor railway locomotives” published in 2006 included the locomotive twice. One entry indicates it was based at Peak Rail whilst another had it as being at RMS Locotec Ltd at Dewsbury. By contract the list of Austerity 0-6-0ST locomotives preserved listed by Wikipedia omitted the locomotive.
At some time later it was at Peak Rail.
It is currently at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse where it is being overhauled although there is no indication of when the locomotive could steam again.
The locomotive has carried the BR number 68006 although it was never owned by BR. The real 68006 was built by Hudswell Clarke and was scrapped in 1967.