USATC 2253

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2253 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in America in 1943 and shipped to Britain aboard the Norfolk which arrived in Hull in May 1943.

It worked on the LNER from its base at Neville Hill depot at Leeds.

Following being returned to USATC stock it was shipped to France in September 1944.

Following the end of the Second World War 2253 was bought Polish State Railway and became TR203-288

It was brought to Britain from Poland in 1992 after reportedly having a full overhaul. It steamed again on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) for a while although reports suggest it did not perform well and was not liked by footplate staff.

It was put up for sale by the NYMR but there was no interest at the price involved and the locomotive remained at the NYMR for a number of years. In late 2013 2253 was sold to Peter Best (possibly in part exchange for rolling stock he had on the railway.

After being cosmetically restored on the NYMR it was loaned to the National Railway Museum and put on static display at Locomotion Shildon as part of a Second World War display.

It is planned that 2253 will steam again on the Dartmouth Steam Railway in 2018 following the locomotive being overhauled. Adam Dalgleish Engineering in Stockton is doing the boiler and Maurice Johnson is doing the mechanicals. The locomotive will be based on the Dartmouth Steam Railway for ten years.

In February 2019 the locomotive was taken back to Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. After some further work at Grosmont the engine was expected to steam again in April and undergo trials on the NYMR before moving to the Dartmouth Steam Railway in May 2019.

The locomotive will run in a plum coloured livery which is close to that worn by the a Canadian Pacific.

In May 2019 the locomotive was named Omaha in honour of owner Peter Best’s father, who was involved in the D-Day landings at Omaha beach.

In July the locomotive returned to steam and started undertaking light and loaded running in trials on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

In November 2019 the Churnet Valley Railway announced that agreement had been reached with the Dartmouth steam Railway to retain the locomotive on the Churnet Valley Railway until early in 2020.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Dartmouth Steam RailwayOperationalPeter Best
2253 at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – 2009
2253 in Locomotion at Shildon – April 2015
2253 banking a train hauled by classmates 5197 and 6046 at Consall on the Churnet Valley Railway – February 2020

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