Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7386 Birkenhead 0-4-0ST

41361-Elsecar Heritage Railway-2017.jpg

This locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in 1948 and was then used by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB).

The locomotive is known to have been based at Brimsdown Power Station in Enfield in the early 1960s.

The coal-fired Brimsdown Power Station was originally brought into operation in by the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Co in 1904. In 1948 Britain’s electricity supply industry was nationalised under the Electricity Act 1947 and Brimsdown Power Station became part of the British Electricity Authority (BES). The BEA was succeeded by the Central Electricity Authority in 1954 and the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in 1957. The CEGB decommissioned both stations in 1974.

It is believed that the locomotive was also employed at the Rye House Power Station which was built in 1953 and closed in November 1982.

It was last based at the Acton Lane Power Station near Willesden.

The power station was located to the south of the Euston to Birmingham railway on a site also bounded by Acton Lane, the Grand Union Canal and the Dudding Hill railway line. In later years the site was extended to the south side of the canal. Willesden. The station closed at the end of October 1983 with a generating capacity of 150 MW.

The locomotive was one of the last two steam locomotives working in London when it was finally withdrawn from service and sold to the GWR Preservation Group Limited at Southall.

It steamed for the first time in preservation around 1984. Since then it has been hired out to many heritage railways by the owners.

I had the pleasure of driving this locomotive at the Elsecar Heritage Railway in 2017 when I was given the footplate experience course as a 70th birthday present.

In September 2022 the locomotive was moved to the Strathspey Railway where its boiler will undergo a contract overhaul. The locomotive will then be based at the Royal Deeside Railway.

ED3 Birkenhead  Stephenson & Hawthorh 7386 at CEGB Brimsdown Generating Station - February 1961.jpg
7386 at CEGB Brimsdown Generating Station – February 1961
RSH 7386 shunting at Acton Lane Power Station, Willesden - 1968.jpg
7386 shunting at Acton Lane Power Station, Willesden – 1968
7386 at Southall – 1980s
7386 on the Lavender Line – August 2010
7386 at Elsecar Heritage Railway – May 2017
7386 at Elsecar Heritage Railway with me driving – May 2017

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