Robert Stephenson Works No 2730  No 3 Twizell 0-6-0T

Robert Stephenson  2730  Marley Hill Tanfield Railway  July 2015.jpg

This locomotive was built at the Newcastle Forth Street works of by Robert Stephenson & Co in 1891. It has 17inch x 24 inch cylinders, 4 feet diameter wheels and weighs 41 tons.

It was delivered new to James Joicey & Company′s Beamish Railway in County Durham.

The locomotive was one of five engines that worked over the system which linked Beamish Air, Beamish 2nd, Beamish Mary and East Stanley Collieries. This joined the North Eastern Railway at Beamish Junction on the Pontop & South Shields branch, a distance of just under 5 miles.

2730 was based at Beamish Engine Works shed, which was located on the north side of the works and where all the repairs were carried out. Ownership of the system passed to the Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Collieries Ltd in November 1924.

In January 1947 ownership of the locomotive passed to the National Coal Board (NCB) when the coal industry was nationalised. It was given a new boiler that year.

By September 1951, it had moved to the nearby Handen Hold colliery, returning to Beamish by June 1952. As it had to work over British Railways tracks at Handen Hold and Ouston Junction.

Following the construction of a link to Handen Hold colliery by the NCB in 1954/55, the steeply graded branch between West Pelton and Ouston Junction was closed.

The locomotive had moved back to Handen Hold colliery by March 1958 but returned to Beamish shed by July 1958.

In 1960 it was given a new firebox by W G Bagnall Ltd and was re-tubed at Beamish before returning to Handen Hold colliery in January 1961. In February 1961, a raft of wagons ran away from the screens here and into the engine shed, pushing 2730 half way out of the shed end wall.

In August 1961 it returned to Beamish shed, but moved back to Handen Hold shed in July 1963, when the Beamish Engine Works shed was closed.

The NCB closed the Beamish Railway in March 1966 and, after a period in storage, the locomotive moved to Morrison Busty Colliery at Annfield Plain in Febrbuary 1968. This journey was undertaken in steam over part of the British Railways system, including descending the Waldridge incline. At Morrison Busty, it worked traffic from the colliery up to South Moor, then reversing back up to the junction with BR at Oxhill on the Beamish to Annfield Plain line. It was found by the crews here to be prone to derailment, usually the middle wheels dropping inside the rails.

With the closure of Morrison Busty looming in October 1973, the locomotive was acquired by the North of England Open Air Museum and moved to their store at Marley Hill engine shed in March 1972. Here it was joined by other engines destined for the Tanfield Railway before it moved to Beamish museum in October 1977.

Its overhaul commenced at Beamish but was not completed before the locomotive moved back to Marley Hill engine shed in March 1995.

Aftre a fifteen year overhaul the locomotive returned to traffic in 2010.

It is on long term loan to the Tanfield Railway.

Robert Stephenson  2730  Marley Hill Tanfield Railway  July 2015.jpg

 2730 at the Tanfield Railway – July 2015

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