This locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in 1946. It is the last remaining example of a 16 inch inside cylinder locomotive designed by Hawthorn Leslie at Newcastle.
It was originally ordered to work at Walbottle Colliery near Newburn about five miles from Newcastle. Following the nationalisation of the coal industry and the formation of the National Coal Board (NCB) in January 1947 the locomotive was actually delivered to the NCB Derbyshire Area and was named Christopher.
It spent its working life working in the coal industry but where it actually worked is not clear. Some sources list its working at Moira Colliery, Church Gresley Colliery, Measham Colliery (possibly around 1967) and then to Cadley Hill Colliery where it remained until 1988. Whilst it is clear that it was at Cadley Hill the evidence for other collieries is less clear and it may have spent a year or two (if at all) at them. Interestingly all of the collieries listed above were originally part of the Moira Colliery Company and seemed to largely keep their structure and sense of togetherness even when they were under control.
Cadley Hill Colliery at Swadlincote in South Derbyshire was one of the last places where steam locomotives were employed. Six locomotives that worked there have been preserved.
- Bagnall – Works Nos 3059 and 3061
- Hunslet – Works Nos 2857, 3851 and 3889
- Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn – Works No 7298
In 1988 the locomotive moved to the Tanfield Railway where it operated for a number of years.
In 2011 the locomotive moved to the National Coal Mining Museum.
|7298 at Cadley Hill Colliery, Castle Gresley, Derbyshire – April 1976|
|7298 at the Tanfield Railway – August 1989|
|7298 at the National Coal Mining Museum – July 2018|