Kitson     Works No 2509     Consett Iron Co.     Class A No.5 0-6-0PT

Kitson 2509.jpg

This locomotive was built by Kitson and Co in 1883 as a Stephenson long-boiler pannier and is unusual for an industrial locomotive in that it is a pannier tank.

The long-boiler design was patented by Robert Stephenson in 1841 as a design which improved efficiency without making the locomotive too long. At the time the patent was taken out it was important that locomotives could use small turnables. The problem with short locomotives is that they are liable to provide a rough ride.

The Consett Iron Company started using the long-boiler locomotives in 1872 and as the largest locomotive in the fleet they were designated the A class. The last one of this type was purchased by the Consett Iron Company in 1941.

In 1947 the locomotive passed into the ownership of the National Coal Board (NCB) when the coal industry was nationalised.

Under NCB ownership the locomotive spent the latter part of its working life based at Derwenthaugh Colliery which had been owned by the Consett Iron Company as was the Derwenthaugh Coke Works. The railway network at Derwenthaugh ran from Swalwell towards Winlaton Mill in the Derwent Valley.

At one time Works No 2509 was the oldest locomotive working for the NCB.

It was withdrawn from service in 1972

After withdrawal it was moved to the Beamish Museum and then to Tyne and Wear Museums Service at Monkwearmouth Station in Sunderland. The task of restoring a very derelict locomotive commenced at Monkwearmouth but because of the deteriorating condition of the building the locomotive was moved to the former Tyneside Metro system test track facility at Middle Engine Lane in North Shields. This site in North Shields is now the Stephenson Railway Museum and it was there in 1983 that the locomotive first steamed again in preservation.

I have seen it stated that the locomotive was rebuilt by Hudswell Clarke in 1900 but I have not been able to substantiate that. I have also seen it written that the locomotive was returned to its current form in 1986.

Colin Dixon who worked on the locomotive in the 1950’s at Derwenthaugh remembers a plate on it stating that it was rebuilt in 1899. This supports the view that it was rebuilt by Hudswell Clarke in 1899 or 1900.

The locomotive was last returned to steam in April 2014.

In August 2018 in was announced that the locomotive was likely to need a new boiler before it can be steamed again. The cost of repairs were described as being prohibitive in the short term.

The work had not started by the summer of 2020.

Kitson 2509 stands out of use at NCB Derwenthaugh near Blaydon – February 1969
RSH 7603 Derwenthaugh  August 1971.jpg
2509 at Derwenthaugh – August 1971
Kitson 2509.jpg
2509 at Beamish Museum – February 2010
2509 on the North Tyneside Steam Railway – April 2014
2509 on the North Tyneside Steam Railway – May 2014

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