Hunslet   Works No 3844    3846  United Steel Company   No 22 0-6-0ST

Hunslet 3844-3846 Nene Valley Rly Sept 2014 with copyright.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 was delivered new as Works No 3846 to the NCB at Graig Merthyr Colliery. It had been built though, as Works No 3844 but the plates were switched before it was delivered. The story being that the order for the NCB was urgent and that 3844 was more complete than 3846 and hence 3844 was delivered.

The locomotive worked at the colliery until June 1978 when the colliery closed. At the colliery it worked between the Graig Merthyr Colliery and the exchange sidings on the former GWR main line on the Swansea District line at Graig Merthyr Colliery Sidings. It was not given a NCB number.

Despite the closure of the colliery the locomotive remained in the Graig Merthyr engine shed until 1986. It was then moved to the Cefn Coed Colliery Museum at Crynant near Neath to act has the Gate Guardian until replaced in 1997.

In 1997 the locomotive was purchased by the Appleby-Frodingham Railway Preservation Society. It was at this time when it was identified as having been built as Works No 3844 and the builders plate was changed to 3844. Amongst other things it was noted during restoration that the cylinders were stamped 3844.The locomotive was moved by the society to Scunthorpe where its restoration was started.

The locomotive was restored to steam in 2010 but because it only had limited running opportunities at Scunthorpe the owner came to an agreement with the Nene Valley Railway for its use. The locomotive by this time had acquired the identity of United Steel Company nLimited Company No 22 and a crimson livery.

On its first trip away from Scunthorpe No.22 it visited the Rutland Railway Museum at Cottesmore a former Iron Ore line like were the old No.22 would have work.

It moved to the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) at Wansford in March 2010 and it hauled its first passenger service train there in April 2010.
Since then No.22 has visited other railways such as the Embasy & Bolton Abbey Railway and the Great Central Railway. Since 2010 No.22 has been a regular performer on the NVR during the summer seasons.

In 2013 air brakes were fitted which gives the NVR more flexibility which stock to use.

The locomotive has operated on the Appleby Frodingham Railway but by the summer of 2020 it was being overhauled.

In November 2022 the locomotive returned to traffic at Butterley.

3844-3846 on the Nene Valley Railway – September 2010
Hunslet 3844 Wansford July 2011.jpg
3844 at Wansford on the Nene Valley Railway-  July 2011
Hunslet 3844-3846 Nene Valley Rly Sept 2014 with copyright.jpg
3844-3846 on the Nene Valley Railway – September 2014
3844 near Castor om the Nene Valley Railway – February 2015

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