Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7668      S&L No 57 Samson 0-6-0ST

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This locomotive was built in 1950 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn for Stewart & Lloyds steelworks at Corby in Northamptonshire.

Immediately after the Second World War Stewarts & Lloyds began a process of improving the ironstone branches serving the large iron and steel plant at Corby. One outlying ironstone pit at Harringworth was isolated from the main system, and ore from it had to be conveyed over a stretch of the LMSR. To obviate this the company extended their own system of quarry lines to reach Harringworth, and for this long-haul traffic they ordered seven powerful saddle tanks to their own detailed requirements.

This locomotive was one of that batch of seven locomotives (Works Nos 7667-7673) that was delivered to Stewart & Lloyds and became S&L 56-62. This locomotive became S&L No 57.

Two further locomotives (Works Nos 7761 & 8050) were built in 1954 and in 1958 bringing the class total to nine engines.

They became known as Uglies due to their short saddle tanks and larger fireboxes. These give them a somewhat ungainly appearance, but they are a more powerful locomotive than the Hunslet Austerities.

Austerity – J94Ugly
Weight48t 5cwt53t 0cwt
Driving Wheels4ft 3ins4ft 0ins
Boiler Pressure170psi180psi
CylindersInside – 18in x 26inInside – 18in x 26in
Tractive Effort23,870lbf26,850lbf

All of the locomotives of this class were withdrawn from service in 1969 when they were replaced by diesel traction. Five of the nine locomotives have since been preserved – Works Nos 7667, 7668, 7671, 7673 and 7761.

Three of the locomotives (Works Nos 7668, 7673 & 7761) were bought by Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society members and arrived at Haworth in May (7761) and June (7668 & 7673) 1969.

All three locomotives saw service on passenger trains on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) following considerable work on the bottom ends.

In 1982 7673 was sold to a member of the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society after being on static display at Oxenhope awaiting boiler repairs.

7668 and 7761 were still at the KWVR in 1991 but left during the 1990s.

At some time 7668 moved to the Spa Valley Railway where it has been placed in store and has donated parts to 7673 including its boiler which had been overhauled.

In the summer of 2020 it was reported that the locomotive was on static display at the Spa Valley Railway.

7668 at Corby (S&L Minerals) – circa 1969
Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 7668.jpg
7668 at Haworth on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

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