Hunslet   Works No 3770 Norma 0-6-0ST

HE3770.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1952 by the Hunslet Engine Company to the design used to supply to the Ministry of Defence and is thus regarded as an Austerity type locomotive.

See LNER class J94 for details.

The locomotive was purchased by the National Coal Board (NCB).  Originally it worked at Maesteg

It is then recorded as having worked in the Dulais Valley. The locomotive regularly lugged 200-300 tons of empties up and the fulls of anthracite coal, sometimes a lot faster than expected, down the Dulais valley on the Graig Merthyr system based at Pontardulais near Swansea. The gradient on the line included 2½ miles of 1-in-40 as well as 45-degree curves.

In the mid 1970s Norma ran away on the downward run whilst in charge of 12 loaded 16 tonne waggons. The application of the steam brakes had little effect and the pointsman lower down the valley had to decide if he should pull the catchpoints which would send the locomotive and train to destruction. In the event he let the engine and the first two waggons pass before activating the points. After the couplings broke under the strain of the remaining wagons, those at the back stayed upright, while the front ones ground into a remarkably neat heap. Amidst shrill whistling Norma and the remaining wagons managed to negotiate the 45-degree curve and the falling 1-in-40 gradient to the A48 crossing gates, which had been opened just in time ahead of them. Still out of control, Norma screamed through, with both 16-tonners bouncing along behind, until they both deserted the Austerity on the first set of points, one demolishing a small hut on the right, while the other badly scored the weighbridge building itself to the left of it.

From the 1970s until the closure of the line 3770 (along with Bagnall No. 2758) were employed here with the help from the cannibalised parts of two other Austerity locomotives stored at Pontardulais.

The locomotive was moved to Oswestry in 1980 and was acquired for preservation in 1983 by the Cambrain Railway Society and is based at the Oswestry.

HE3770.jpg  3770 NCB Graig Merthyr, Glamorgan – April 1974
HE3770-Norma-Pontarddulais-May 1975.jpg 3770-Pontarddulais-May 1975


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