Sentinel       Works No 9376     No 7 0-4-0 VBGT

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This locomotive was built by Sentinel in 1947 for Ind Coope and Allsop and was used at their Burton Brewery.

In this engine the drive passes via a two speed gear box through a double chain to the leading axle. This is connected to the rear axle by single chain on the opposite side. The space between the boiler and the cylinders at the front of the engine is occupied by a 500 gallon water tank.

In 1960 it was sold to Thomas Hill Ltd. of Kilnhurst, near Rotherham. From February to May that year the locomotive was loaned to Batchelor’s Foods Ltd. of Wadsley Bridge.

The locomotive was then rebuilt before being sold to the National Coal Board (NCB) in July 1960.

The NCB employed it at East Ardsley Colliery near Wakefield for three years before reselling it to Thomas Hill in 1963.

In 1965 the locomotive was sold to General Refractories Ltd. of Deepcar, Sheffield.

From about 1969, a small Ruston diesel was found sufficient for the company’s rail traffic and 9376 lay out of use until 1971.

In July 1971 the locomotive was purchased by a member of the Sentinel Trust and moved to the Buckinhamshire Railway Centre at Quainton.

The locomotive then moved to the Rutland Railway Museum Cottesmore in working order and worked at Barrington Cement Works, near Cambridge, as well as at Rutland Railway Museum open days.

Few problems, other than the eccentricities of the locomotive, were experienced. The first problem arose due to a steam leak, when welded modifications were required to reduce clearances around mud hole doors to reduce the risk of further leaks. Problems were also experienced with a loose piston in the left hand cylinder, this and problems with oiling, meant the locomotive was out of service for 1997.

During the layoff, some wasted studs were replaced, the pressure gauge was recalibrated, and a tank drain leak repaired. The locomotive passed its hydraulic and steam tests and returned to service. Due to the gradients at Cottesmore (approx. 1 in 66), the locomotive was not really suited to continuous heavy working, but regularly performed on demonstration freight trains or running light locomotive.

After being stored in the open under a custom designed tarpaulin the locomotive was moved to the Elsecar Heritage Railway.

The locomotive has been stripped down and the boiler lifted out of the frames in order to undertake its 10 year overhaul.

In January 2022 it was revealed that the locomotive was being scrapped as it was considered to be beyond economic repair and major components could be used to keep other Sentinel locomotives operational. The owner of the locomotive also owns Sentinels 6807 and 9599.

Sentinel 9376 Elsecar Nov 2009.jpg
9376 at the Elsecar Heritage Railway – November 2009
9376 at the Elsecar Heritage Railway – October 2017
9376 at the Elsecar Heritage Centre – March 2020

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