ALN SETTLES FOR A SADDLE
Sole surviving ex-Lambton Hetton & Joicey Collieries ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 60 has returned to the North East, to give the Aln Valley Railway a second working steam locomotive. With its distinctive cab, fitted to pass through tunnels on the approach to the Lambton staithes in Sunderland, the 1948-built Hunslet (Works No. 3686) is nearing the end of overhaul at Ian Storey’s Hepscott works. It has spent its preservation career at the Strathspey Railway, but the move to the AVR is due to take place imminently. It is due to make its public debut at the line’s steam gala on May 5-7, marking 50 years since the closure of the Alnwick branch, and will run at the AVR for an initial six-month period before being offered for hire. It is owned by former Strathspey Railway director Stephen Wood, along with sister locomotive No. 48 (Hunslet Works No. 2864 of 1943), which is also to move to the AVR. This engine requires firebox repairs and will initially go on static display. In 1948, No. 60 was the first new locomotive to arrive on the LH&JC system following nationalisation. Fitted with a mechanical stoker in 1962, it briefly appeared at Springwell Bank Foot engine shed on the Bowes Railway and at Sherburn Hill colliery. With the mechanical stoker removed, it was transferred to Dawdon Colliery on the Durham coast in July 1965, staying there until preservation in 1976.
With its cut-down Lambton cab clearly visible, ‘Austerity’ No. 60 nears completion at Ian Storey’s Hepscott works in February.