Hunslet    Works No 3840    NCB Pamela 0-6-0ST

Hunslet 3840 at St Jihn’s Colliery Bothy - November 1972.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1956 for the National Coal Board (NCB) 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.

This locomotive spent all of its working life under NCB ownership based at Maesteg. Following its delivery to St John’s Washery at Maesteg it was given the name Pamela after one of the daughters of the General Manager in line with the normal practice at the colliery.

The locomotive was given a light blue livery with yellow and black striped buffer-beams but will have looked dark blue or black as it like other industrial locrews.comotives it will only have been cleaned seldomly. It was considered to be the most free steaming locomotive at Maesteg and hence was liked by

After being kept as a spare in case of the breakdown of a diesel locomotive it was withdrawn from service in 1975.

The NCB then loaned the locomotive to the Vale of Neath Railway Society who planned to restore it along with several other engines from around Wales. At some point the locomotive was stored at the Gwili Railway.

In 1993 the British Coal Corporation (previously the NCB) recalled the locomotive and it was impounded in Nottingham.

In 1996 the locomotive was bought by the Vale of Glamorgan Railway (VoGR) and given an overhaul which was completed in 1998. The VoGR purchased this locomotive because the only other one they had (Peckett 1859 of 1932 called Sir Gomer) was believed to be unsuitable for the extension of the line that over Barry causeway. Sir Gomer had been provided to the VoGR on a loan basis by the NCB in 1979 at a time when the VoGR was based in Cardiff Bay and named the Butetown Historical Railway Society (BHRS). In early 1994 the BHRS were offered the opportunity to buy Sir  Gomer for £100 on the condition that they restored the locomotive to steam again. Later in 1994, Cardiff Corporation evicted the BHRS and they rebranded after securing a new base in Barry. Sir Gomer was then sold and Hunslet 3840 Pamela became the VoGR flagship locomotive for many years.

In 2008 the lease that the VoGR  had on the land they occupied expired and the lease was put out for tender and the VoGR were evicted. All of the stock wase sold or dispersed and this locomotive spent a brief period at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway. It ran there as BR number 68070 although the real 68070 was built by Robert Stephenson & Co Ltd in 1945 and was scrapped in 1969.

The locomotive was then moved to Pontycymer shed which is now the base for the Garw Valley Railway.

In 2011 the locomotive passed a steam test but because of some mechanical problems it could not be hired out and used. This was the first time a working steam locomotive moved under its own power in the valley since 1956.

The plan is to complete the restoration of the locomotive and run it in its old NCB livery.

Hunslet 3840 at St Jihn’s Colliery Bothy - November 1972.jpg
1464 heading a railtour of the Manchester Ship Canal railway at Trafford Park – 14 September 1969
3840 at Maesteg Colliery – October 1971
Hunslet 3840 at Garw Valley Railway - February 2018.jpg
 3840 at Garw Valley Railway – February 2018

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