Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7944   No 16 0-6-0ST

Robert Stephenson Hawthorn 7944  Tanfield railway April 2012.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1957 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn to burn oil as fuel but this equipment was removed prior to it being delivered to the National Coal Board (NCB) East Cramlington shed on the former Hartley Main Colliery system. Here it worked traffic from Hartford Colliery and Nelson Drift Mine down the long line to the staiths at Percy Main on the River Tyne. It also worked the two-mile branch to Dudley Colliery and the link to BR on the Blyth and Tyne line at Seghill. Here the locomotive became No.48 and was painted in a lined black livery.

By September 1958 the locomotive had been redeployed tot NCB Seghill Colliery before moving to NCB Seaton Delaval shed in February 1959.

Around May 1959 it moved back to East Cramlington but was back at Seaton Delaval in August 1959.

Around January 1960 it returned once again to East Cramlington.

In March 1962 the locomotive moved to NCB Bedlington A Colliery where it became No 62 in 1964.

In September 1971 it was transferred to NCB Blackworth locomotive shed and became No 16.

At Bedlington, Burradon and Backworth, it was registered by the Railway Executive and later the British Transport Commission in order to work over parts of the British Railways (BR) network, and, as such, was regularly inspected by BR.

The locomotive was the Fenwick Pit Pilot for a time whilst based at Blackworth and was overhauled there for the second time and re-tyred. It was also repainted into the NCB Northumberland Area unlined dark blue livery with the area crest.

From July 1973 until July 1974 it was loaned to NCB Burradon locomotive sheds.

In January 1976 the locomotive returned to Burradon where it was placed in storage.

As No 16 the locomotive was sold to to the Stephenson Hawthorn Locomotive Trust in March 1976 and returned to Backworth for storage in February 1977.

In June 1980 the locomotive was moved to the Tanfield Railway at Marley Hill.

The locomotive has not operated on the Tanfield Railway but in 2012 it was given a coat of protective paint in order to prevent corrosion.

7944 on the Backworth colliery system – April 1972
7944 taking a loaded set from Eccles pit – May 1972
7944 at Fenwick Pit in Northumberland – July 1973
Robert Stephenson Hawthorn 7944  Tanfield railway April 2012.jpg
7944 at the Tanfield Railway – April 2012
7944 at the Tanfield Railway – August 2018

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