Pioneering WSR Bagnall steams again on Tyneside

A LOCOMOTIVE which worked on the West Somerset Railway in its early years has returned to steam after 11 years.

Bagnall New Standard 18 class 0-6-0ST No. 2994 Vulcan, more recently known as No. 401 Thomas Burt MP, is now based at the North Tyneside Steam Railway, and was steamed on January 17 for the first time since 2008.

Bagnall No. 401 Thomas Burt MP undergoes its steam test at the North Tyneside Steam Railway on January 17. STEPHENSON RAILWAY MUSEUM

Its heavy overhaul has involved repairs to the firebox and the fitting of new tyres and a refurbished smokebox door.

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The locomtive is one of three built in 1951 to compete with diesel traction, and fitted with self-cleaning smokeboxes, rocking grates, hopper ash pans and Walschaerts valve gear. They are considered by some to be the most technologically advanced industrial steam engines ever built. 

Read more in Issue 251 of HR – on sale now!

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt