Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7098     WD 75062 0-6-0ST

RSH 7098 Backworth September 1971.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1943, to a Hunslet Engine Company design, by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn for the Ministry of Defence. It then entered service as WD5062 which was later changed to 75062.

See LNER class J94 for details.

Where the locomotive went for its first few months is shrouded in the fog of war.

In November 1943 it was put into store on the Melbourne Military Railway (MMR) in Derbyshire and moved to further storage with the War Department at Shoeburyness in Essex in January 1944. It then returned to the MMR in September 1944.

The MMR ran from Derby to Ashby de la Zouch. It was used by the British Army and Allied engineers during the Second World War from 1939 until late 1944 to prepare them for the invasion of mainland Europe. Engineers practised the demolition and rebuilding of railways and the running and maintenance of a railway line and its rolling stock.

In May 1946 it was loaned to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (MoF&P) and employed at the Swannington opencast disposal point, near Coalville in Leicestershire.

Following repairs at the LMS Railway workshops in Derby, it moved to the MoF&P Bennerley disposal point in Nottinghamshire in February 1947. It was not there long as in April 1947 it was transferred transferred to the MoF&P Blue Bell disposal point at Backworth in Northumberland. There was a locomotive shed there, but it was repaired and maintained at the NCB Backworth locomotive sheds. By this time it was carrying the number 75062 and painted in lined black livery.

In April 1952 the ownership  of the locomotive changed to the National Coal Board (NCB) Opencast Executive.

In December 1959 the NCB bought it and moved it permanently to Backworth sheds, where it became No 49 and its livery to lined green.

As it worked over British Railways lines, it was registered by the Railway Inspectorate and later by the British Transport Commission and regularly inspected. It also acquired NCB plant number 9103/49, which is painted on its frames.  No 49 was used on the run down to Whitehill Point Staiths on the River Tyne, which closed in 1969 and to Burradon and Weetslade, as well as being the regular Fenwick Pit pilot for many years.

The Burradon system had the locomotive on loan from July to November 1973 and April to July 1974, but it was not looked after and returned without having its boiler ever washed out. It returned to Burradon shed in January 1976 for storage.

In March 1976 the locomotive was purchased through the Stephenson and Hawthorn Locomotive Trust and moved back to Backworth for further storage in February 1977. In June 1980 it was moved to the Tanfield Railway at Marley Hill.

Following a comprehensive overhaul the locomotive was returned to steam on the Tanfield Railway although it was loaned out to other heritage railways and the National Railway Museum.

It was withdrawn from traffic in September 2011 for a ten year overhaul.

The locomotive is currently being overhauled t the Tanfield Railway.

In March 2018 the locomotive passed its steam test at the works of Israel Newton & Sons in Derbyshire.

The locomotive was officially returned to traffic in August 2018.

7098 at Backworth colliery
7098 on the left and RSH 7849 on the right at Backworth Colliery shed – 1966
7098 near Easrdon heads a set of empty 21-tonners for Fenwick pit towards the BR Blyth & Tyne crossing – April 1971
7098 ambles out of the New Sidings towards Backworth – July 1971
RSH 7098 Backworth September 1971.jpg
7098 at Backworth – September 1971
7098 on the Tanfield Railway – March 2011
Robert Stephenson Hawthorn 7098  Marley Hill Tanfield Railway  May 2011.jpg
7098 at Marley Hill on the Tanfield Railway – May 2011
RSH 7098 at the Tanfield railway - September 2014.jpg
7098 at the Tanfield Railway – September 2014
7098 at the Tanfield Railway – August 2018

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