LBSCR line beats off over 20 rail­ways to land shunter that spent decades in a con­vent.

Steam Railway (UK) - - INDUSTRIAL NEWS -

Hunslet 0-6-0ST New­stead, re­dis­cov­ered at a re­mote Hert­ford­shire con­vent af­ter it was thought to have been scrapped, could steam in just four years af­ter mov­ing to the Spa Val­ley Rail­way.

The 1929-built ma­chine ar­rived at Tun­bridge Wells on Oc­to­ber 29. Over 20 preser­va­tion sites, stretch­ing from Som­er­set and midWales to Ayr­shire in Scot­land, had ex­pressed in­ter­est in the lo­co­mo­tive.

It is the fur­thest south the 16in-cylin­dered en­gine has ever trav­elled. De­liv­ered to Hemsworth Col­liery in West York­shire dur­ing De­cem­ber 1929, New­stead

(Works No. 1589) spent its en­tire ca­reer in the coal in­dus­try be­fore be­ing ac­quired pri­vately for preser­va­tion from Wool­ley Col­liery, near Barns­ley, in 1973.

It was re­dis­cov­ered in 2016, a quar­ter of a cen­tury af­ter it was last seen by the main­stream en­thu­si­ast com­mu­nity (SR452). It moved to the Nene Val­ley Rail­way for as­sess­ment, but it was mu­tu­ally agreed in 2017 that an­other home would be re­quired for full over­haul to take place.

That over­haul is now ex­pected to get un­der way im­me­di­ately at the SVR, pick­ing up pace in Jan­uary once the over­haul of res­i­dent Bar­clay 0-4-0ST Lady In­grid is com­plete. Fund­ing is al­ready in place and it is es­ti­mated that New­stead’s over­haul will take around four years to com­plete.

Vol­un­teer foot­plate­man Alex Alder, who was in­volved in the ini­tial ‘find’, is now spear­head­ing the restora­tion. He said: “There was a mas­sive wave of ex­cite­ment when New­stead was found. It was a dis­ap­point­ment that the over­haul couldn’t go ahead at the Nene Val­ley and the process of find­ing the right new home has been slow, but now it’s all sys­tems go.

“We have a core team in place to carry out the over­haul, but

I’d re­ally like more peo­ple to get in­volved. The Spa Val­ley is an ex­cel­lent place to vol­un­teer and pick up the skills needed to over­haul a lo­co­mo­tive.”

Reg­u­lar work­ing par­ties on New­stead are al­ready be­ing ar­ranged, and po­ten­tial vol­un­teers are en­cour­aged to con­tact Alex at alex@ac­co­lade­mea­sure.co.uk or 07710 750366.

An­other Hunslet 16in-cylin­der 0-6-0ST – Ring Haw from the North Nor­folk Rail­way – is due to ar­rive at the SVR be­fore the start of Christ­mas op­er­a­tions and is ex­pected to re­main there for the 2019 sea­son. It will be mak­ing its sec­ond trip to the SVR, hav­ing ap­peared on hire dur­ing 2017.


New­stead touches down at the Spa Val­ley Rail­way on Oc­to­ber 29.

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