419 and 828 united at Bo’ness

Novem­ber meet­ing of McIn­tosh engines cel­e­brates ‘True Line’s’ pomp.




John F. McIn­tosh’s sur­viv­ing pair of ‘Caley’ engines made for one of the most suc­cess­ful en­thu­si­ast events in the his­tory of the Bo’ness & Kin­neil Rail­way.

Two thou­sand tick­ets to travel were sold, as en­thu­si­asts flocked to the banks of the Firth of Forth on Novem­ber 2-4, where ‘439’ 0-4-4T No. 419 made its de­but ap­pear­ance fol­low­ing a nine-year over­haul, and was joined by ‘812’ 0-6-0 No. 828, mak­ing its first visit from the Strath­spey Rail­way.

It was the first time that the duo had been brought to­gether in preser­va­tion, pro­vid­ing a con­trast be­tween the dark St Rol­lox blue worn by No. 828 and the light Perth shade car­ried by No. 419.

The Ed­war­dian feel was fur­ther en­hanced by the use of the res­i­dent pair of 1920s Cale­do­nian Rail­way cor­ri­dor car­riages, and a ride in these com­manded a £5 sup­ple­ment.

Jim Verth, vice-chair­man of the Scot­tish Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety, which owns No. 419, told Steam Rail­way: “We re­ceived great com­ments from vis­i­tors – and the two engines set each other off re­ally well.

“419 ran beau­ti­fully, with a nice sharp ex­haust, and we’re very pleased with the valve tim­ing. The West­ing­house pump, which was once the bane of my life, is work­ing well too.

“How­ever, it’s al­ways been a bit slippy. On one run through the trees it slipped badly and was down to walk­ing pace, so it was taken very steadily to Manuel. We’re go­ing to put the san­ders back into oper­a­tion this win­ter.”

The ‘Cale­do­nian Re­union’ event was fol­lowed by a series of pho­to­graphic char­ters, ex­ploit­ing the rare chance to see No. 828 paired with pre-Group­ing liv­ery stock, be­fore its re­turn north to Aviemore.

The ‘439’s’ next sched­uled turns will be on the BKR’s Black Bun spe­cials on De­cem­ber 30/31, top-and-tailed with Aus­ter­ity 0-6-0ST No. 19.

An of­fi­cial reded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony will fol­low next spring, co­in­cid­ing with the launch of a new book on the en­gine, pub­lished by the Cale­do­nian Rail­way As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mr Verth told Steam Rail­way that there have not yet been any ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from other rail­ways wish­ing to hire No. 419 since it re­turned to steam, although “two or three have pre­vi­ously asked.”

“I wouldn’t be sur­prised if we re­ceived a few of­fers,” he added. “We’d be up for al­low­ing it to go out, pro­vided that it’s the right rail­way… We know that the Sev­ern Val­ley, which had 828, is al­ways

pleased to see blue engines, but let’s wait and see.” The SRPS is now ex­pect­ing ‘D49’ No. 246 Mo­rayshire to re­turn from its £200,000-plus over­haul at Llan­gollen next spring, hav­ing pre­vi­ously an­tic­i­pated that it would be fin­ished this au­tumn.

The Gres­ley 4-4-0, owned by Scot­tish Mu­se­ums, will un­dergo run­ning-in tri­als in North Wales be­fore re­turn­ing to Bo’ness to have its LNER Dar­ling­ton-style Ap­ple green liv­ery ap­plied.

“We’ll keep it at Bo’ness in 2019,” Mr Verth said, “but in 2020 we’ll look at longer term hire to a cou­ple of rail­ways.”


To­gether at last: Nos. 419 and 828 are posed with vin­tage stock at bo’ness dur­ing one of the four photo-char­ters ar­ranged by In Search of Steam.

An­DreW beLL

The one-off sight of a blue No. 828 paired with authen­tic ‘Caley’ stock. The ‘812’ ap­proaches Manuel on Novem­ber 10.


Au­tumn light ac­cen­tu­ates the ‘re­ally use­ful’ lines of No. 419 at Tod’s Mill on Novem­ber 9.

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