USATC 5197

USA 5197 on the Churnet Valley railway - February 2018.jpg

5197 was built in June 1945 by Lima Locomotive Works in Ohio in the USA.

It was exported to China in 1946 where it was c classified as KD6 by the Chinese State Railways, and 5197 became KD6.463.

It spent the majority of its working life in the Chinese Coal Industry around Fushun, before being withdrawn in the 1990s. It was saved from scrap by Derek Foster in 1995, who then brought it to Britain where it was based at the Llangollen Railway. After an overhaul at Llangollen it returned to traffic in 1998 in USA Transportation Corps Grey livery.

In 2001, the locomotive was put up for sale and was subsequently purchased by Greg Wilson who moved it to the Churnet Valley Railway (CVR). It operated for 3 years at the CVR, with guest visits to other preserved railways including Peak Rail and the Great Central Railway where it featured in the line’s Wartime Events. This period of operation also saw it painted in an unusual maroon livery for a short while.

During the winter of 2004/05 5197 visited Ian Riley’s works at the East Lancs Railway to have an intermediate mechanical overhaul including a full set of tyres. Following its return to Cheddleton on the CVR all of the smoke tubes were replaced, and a standard British air brake system was fitted. It re-entered service in June 2005, repainted into USATC Black.

5197 then operating at the CVR and other preserved lines including Swanage, East Lancs, North Norfolk, Nene Valley, Keighley & Worth Valley, West Somerset and a memorable visit to Merehead Quarry in 2008 for their Open Weekend as part of East Somerset Railway 150 year celebrations.

It was finally withdrawn in December 2009 for a full overhaul, which commenced in the latter half of 2013. It made its first moves again under its own steam in February 2017 on the Churnet Valley Railway. The following day it double headed with classmate 6046 as part of its load test. This is the first time in over 70 years that two locomotives of this class have operated together in Britain.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Churnet Valley Railway Operational Greg Wilson
5197 & 71000 Cheddleton 2010.jpg 5197 at Cheddleton on the Churnet Valley Railway-2010. 71000 Duke of Gloucester is on the right.
5197 Cheddleton 2010.jpg 5197 at Cheddleton on the Churnet Valley Railway-2010.
USA 5197 on the Churnet Valley railway - February 2018.jpg 5197 on the Churnet Valley Railway – February 2018


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