Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7661    BEA No 2 0-4-0ST

Roberst Stephenson Hawthorn 7661 Emsay & Bolton abbey March 2010.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1950 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn for British Electricity Authority (BEA) and was deployed at Hartshead Power Station, Stalybridge. Here it became BEA No 2 and it shared the duties there with a large fireless locomotive.

Because the fireless was cheap to run (there was a good supply of steam from the power station boiler), it was preferred as the working engine, and so No. 2 was used as the standby, and also whenever the power station boiler was shut down, as there would be no supply of steam for the fireless.

The power station had opened in 1926 by the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Transport and Electricity Board. Coal was delivered to the plant at Millbrook railway sidings on the Micklehurst Line, situated on the opposite side of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. The sidings were built in 1932 and had space to hold up to 130 12-ton wagons. Coal was fed into a hopper underneath the sidings before being transported on an enclosed conveyor belt which emerged high above the valley to cross the River Tame and canal before entering the station at a high level.

The ownership of the power station passed to the British Electricity Authority in 1948 when the electricity industry was nationalised. In 1957 ownership passed to the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB).

When the Micklehurst line was closed to traffic in October 1966 the short section of line between the Millbrook sidings and Stalybridge remained in use until the power station closed in 1979.

Roberst Stephenson Hawthorn 7661 Emsay & Bolton abbey March 2010.jpg 7661 at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway – March 2010

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