STANIER ‘5MT’ 4-6-0 No. 45231 ‘THE SHERWOOD FORESTER’
For the final day of timetabled steam working on August 3 1968, No. 45231’s job was a humble ballast train duty from Waterslack Quarry to Farington Junction, after which it returned light engine to its home shed of Carnforth – and into preservation. Its purchaser, Michael Stephenson, moved it to the Great Central Railway in 1973, and it hauled the preserved main line’s reopening train on September 30 that year. Apart from a period at the Nene Valley Railway, it remained at Loughborough for over 30 years until it was sold to Bert Hitchen in 2003 – and returned to the national network two years later.
Its main line career seems set to continue for many years, following another sale in 2015 in which it joined Jeremy Hosking’s Locomotive Services Ltd fleet. It is currently based at Southall, but will be at the Severn Valley Railway for its 1968 event on August 4 and its Autumn Steam Gala in September.
Its boiler certificate expires in 2021 – after which, says Peter Greenwood of Locomotive Services Ltd, there are “no firm plans, but it certainly won’t be forgotten about!” Air brakes will be fitted as part of this overhaul, the engine currently being vacuum-braked only.
Status: Operational Location: Southall Owner: Locomotive Services Ltd Built: Armstrong Whitworth, August 1936 Withdrawn: Carnforth, August 1968
No. 45231 approaches Bentham station during its main line loaded trial on November 15 2017.