W G Bagnall Works No 2996 Victor No 403 0-6-0ST

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DesignerHarold Wood
CompanyW G Bagnall
Weightt cwt
Driving Wheels4ft 3in
Boiler Pressurepsi
CylindersOutside – 18in x 24in
Tractive Effort25,250lbf
Valve GearWalschaert (piston valve)

This locomotive was built by W G Bagnall in 1951 as an 18 inch 0-6-0ST locomotive for the Steel Company of Wales (SCOW) for use at the Abbey works at Port Talbot. It was one of three such locomotives used there. Here it was numbered 403 and carried the name Victor after the RAF bomber.

The design was to be Bagnall’s new standard post war heavy shunter and – unusually for an industrial shunter – had a very high specification with piston valves operated by Walschaerts valve gear, fully balanced reversing gear, roller bearings on all axles and motion, rocking grate, hopper ashpan, and many low maintenance features. It was an excellent design but was very expensive for industrial duties and, with even more reliable and low maintenance diesel shunters beginning to predominate, only the three for the SCOW were built. Even they did not last long at Port Talbot, despite very impressive reliability and availablity, as they were displaced by Brush-Bagnall diesels.

2996 was purchased from SCOW in September 1957 and went to Austin’s Longbridge Works along with one other of the three engines. The third was bought by the National Coal Board for use in South Wales and was scrapped in 1967.

In November 1973 both the locomotives at Longridge were bought for preservation by the West Somerset Railway and initially stored at Taunton. Victor was returned to steam on the West Somerset Railway and hauled the Directors Special train in December 1975.

The two locomotives were not suited to the operations over a line as long as the West Somerset Railway and were rough riders because of the short wheelbase. Both of these locomotives have since been preserved – 2996 Victor at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway and 2994 Vulcan at the Stephenson Railway Museum.

Victor moved to the Strathespey Railway in 1988 before going to the Great Central Railway-Nottingham and then the Battlefield Line.

In 2009 the locomotive was purchased privately by Mr Ormandy for use on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. It was then overhauled at Haverthwaite and Tyseley before returning to service in 2015.

It is owned privately by and is operational on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.

2996 at Steel Company of Wales at Port Talbot – June 1956
2996 at British Motor Corporation Longbridge – circa 1966
2996 at Taunton awaiting delivery to the West Somerset Railway – October 1975
2996 at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway on the railway re-opening day – March 1976
2996 at the Nottingham Heritage Centre ar Ruddington – 2003
2996 at Haverthwaite on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway – June 2017
2996 Victor at Haverthwaite – April 2018
2996 Victor at Haverthwaite – April 2018

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