Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7800   No 47 0-6-0ST

RSH 7800 at the Tanfield Railway - June 2017.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1954 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn and was one of two delivered new to Richard Thomas and Baldwins Ltd at the Ebbw Vale Steelworks in Monmouthshire. Here it became No 47.

Its duties including hauling limestone from the quarry at Trefil to the works at Ebbw Vale. In order to achieve this the train had to cross a road in Ebbw Vale with the help of a man holding a flag to stop the traffic on the road.

On journeys downhill to the works with many trucks full of limestone from Trevil Quarry, the brakeman had to run beside each truck in turn, jamming a thick pole into the brake mechanism and ‘riding’ his whole weight on it to force the brakes hard on, then refit a holding pin with his “free” hand. More than one died or lost a leg in the process.

As part of the duties included operating on BR track the locomotive was registered with the British Transport Commission in 1958.

In 1963 the locomotive was replaced by diesel traction and it became surplus to requirements. It was sold to the National Coal Board (NCB) at Celynen South Colliery at Abercarn in Monmouthshire.

In June 1972 the locomotive was bought by a private buyer who moved it to the Great Western Preservation Society depot at Didcot. Here it was painted in red oxide but no restoration work was undertaken.

It subsequently moved to the Tanfield Railway where it is still unrestored.

RSH 7800 at Celynen South Colliery - 1971.jpg
7800 at Celynen South Colliery – 1971
7800 at the Didcot Railway Centre – August 1972
RSH 7800 at the Tanfield Railway - June 2017.jpg
7800 at the Tanfield Railway – June 2017

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