W G Bagnall  Works No 2994 Vulcan No 401  Thomas Burt MP 0-6-0ST

W Bagnall 2994 Stephenson Railway July 2010.jpg

Introduced 1951
Designer Harold Wood
Company W G Bagnall
Weight t cwt
Driving Wheels 4ft 3in
Boiler Pressure psi
Cylinders Outside – 18in x 24in
Tractive Effort 25,250lbf
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 401 and carried the name Vulcan 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.

2994 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. Vulcan was returned to steam on the West Somerset Railway in December 1977.

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.

In 1986 Vulcan was sold to the Metropolitan Borough of Tyneside for use at its Stephenson Railway Museum and renamed Thomas Burt MP 1837-1922, and is still there today

It is anticipated that this locomotive will be returned to steam on the North Tynside Steam Railway in 2018. By the end of 2017 the boiler had passed its steam test and hydraulic tests at the North Norfolk Railway and it was returned to the North Tyneside Railway in January 2018.

W Bagnall 2994 Stephenson Railway July 2010.jpg 2994 at the Stephenson Railway Museum – July 2010

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