209 was built by the LSWR in 1891 at Nine Elms locomotive works. It was based at Fratton before moving on to Exeter. It passed into Southern Railway ownership in 1923.
The locomotive was transferred to the Isle of Wight in 1925 as the island’s locomotive stock needed major modernisation, it was re-numbered W24 and given the name Calbourne, after a village on the island. The locomotive was fitted with Westinghouse air brake equipment to allow it to haul island passenger carriages, and had an extension fitted to its coal bunker to increase its range of operation.
Calbourne remained on the island under British Railway ownership, and was retained after steam services ended, with W31 Chale, as a works engine for the Ryde to Shanklin line electrification, until withdrawal in March 1967 when electrification of the line was complete.
In 1967 the Wight Locomotive Society acquired Calbourne from British Railways. The purchase price was £900 of which £500 was contributed by David Shepherd.
The Wight Locomotive Society moved its headquarters to Havenstreet in 1971 and became the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
It spent its early years in Southern Railway Malachite Green with Sunshine lettering. After an overhaul in 1992 it was repainted in Southern Railway Maunsell lined Olive Green with an unmodified coal bunker. Calbourne was withdrawn in 2002 for overhaul re-emerging
Calbourne was withdrawn from service for overhaul in 2002. The extensive repairs were supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and included a major boiler and firebox overhaul, a new smokebox, refitting the bunker extension and a repaint in early British Railways lined black livery. The overhaul was completed in 2010 in BR Standard Mixed-Traffic Black livery with red and white lining and the larger bunker re-fitted.
Calbourne was in service throughout the 2014 season with no significant engineering problems.
A number of issues were identified with the locomotive when it underwent winter maintenance at the end of 2016.
The locomotive underwent successful steam trials in March 2018 following an extensive bottom-end overhaul.
The boiler certificate was valid until 2020. The locomotive was withdrawn from service at the end of September 2019.
In January 2020 the boiler was lifted off the frames at the start of the overhaul of the locomotive.
In August 2020 it was disclosed that £24,000 was required to ensure the overhaul of the locomotive could be completed. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway reported that as a result of the Corvid-19 pandemic the railway had lost income during the summer.
In August 2020 it was thought that the overhaul might be completed by December 2020 with the aim of having it running in January 2021. January marks the 50th anniversary of the Wight Locomotive Society’s move from Newport.
The locomotive was successfully steamed at full pressure in December 2020 and the insurance boiler examination was undertaken later that month. It moved under its own steam again in January 2021.
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