|Company||W G Bagnall|
|Driving Wheels||4ft 3in|
|Cylinders||Outside – 18in x 24in|
|Valve Gear||Walschaert (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.