BR ‘Pot­ting Shed’ set to steam again

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News -

En­thu­si­asts will once again be able to ride be­hind preser­va­tion’s smallest ex-BR stan­dard gauge steam lo­co­mo­tive this year. Weigh­ing in at just 19 tons 16cwt, LNER ‘Y1’ Sen­tinel 0-4-0VBT No. 68153 is en­ter­ing the fi­nal stages of over­haul at the Mid­dle­ton Rail­way in Leeds. Jok­ingly known as the ‘Pot­ting Shed’, the 1933-built ma­chine is the only sur­vivor of 58 Sen­tinel lo­co­mo­tives bought by the LNER be­tween 1925 and 1933. Dur­ing Fe­bru­ary, the boiler passed an hy­draulic test af­ter ma­jor surgery at Israel New­ton’s boiler works in Der­byshire, in­clud­ing an en­tirely new boiler ‘shell’ - the equiv­a­lent of both the boiler bar­rel and outer fire­box in a con­ven­tional lo­co­mo­tive boiler. A new su­per­heater coil is also be­ing made for the 275lb/sq in boiler. The boiler was ex­pected to re­turn to Leeds in March, where it will be re­u­nited with the chain-driven chas­sis. Al­ready, me­chan­i­cal work has been com­pleted, leav­ing mainly pipework to be fin­ished off be­fore No. 68153 re­turns to ac­tion af­ter more than a decade. The aim is to make it ready for a de­but at the ‘Main­line to In­dus­try’ gala, on Septem­ber 16/17. The event will al­low vis­i­tors to com­pare No. 68153 to an­other diminu­tive ex-main line lo­co­mo­tive, North East­ern Rail­way ‘H’ class (later LNER ‘Y7’) 0-4-0T No. 1310. The ‘Y7’, how­ever, is a com­par­a­tive heavy­weight, tip­ping the scales at 22 tons 14cwt - for the sake of com­par­i­son, a Lan­cashire & York­shire Rail­way Class 21 0-4-0ST (bet­ter known as a ‘Pug’) weighs around 21.5 tons. Rated at 100hp and with a the­o­ret­i­cal top speed of 21mph, No. 68153 later be­came De­part­men­tal No. 54 and was with­drawn from Geneva per­ma­nent way yard in Dar­ling­ton, from where it was pur­chased by the Mid­dle­ton Rail­way in 1961. With two 6¾in di­am­e­ter cylin­ders and 2ft 6in di­am­e­ter driv­ing wheels, the lo­co­mo­tives were eco­nom­i­cal shunters on dock­sides and in yards when diesel tech­nol­ogy was in its in­fancy. The LNER was the big­gest main line cus­tomer of Sen­tinel in Bri­tain, also pur­chas­ing 80 Sen­tinel-pow­ered steam rail­cars.

MIKE TAY­LOR

LNER ‘Y1’ Sen­tinel No. 68153 (De­part­men­tal No. 54) stops for a ‘blow up’ with the last train of the day on the Mid­dle­ton Rail­way on May 30 1988.

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