Coal Tank

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The LNWR Coal Tank

The Coal Tank’s lines can be appreciated as it is turned by manual effort at Keighley on 23rd February.  Here it is in BR livery, but it is intended that the other liveries that it carried during its working life will appear during its operational period, including the attractive LNWR lined black.


The LNWR Coal Tank

Britain’s many heritage railways are largely operated by steam power, and there is always added interest when a locomotive that has been out of action for several years is overhauled and put back into use.

The latest example is the ‘Coal Tank’, a survivor from 1888 that twice escaped the cutter’s torch and was purchased for preservation at the end of the 1950’s.  It was the first example of a locomotive saved by public appeal, rather than by a railway company or British Railways.

Built at the Crewe works of the London & North Western Railway and allocated the number 1054, the Coal Tank was one of a class of 300 0-6-2 tank engines.  The name was a contraction of the official designation ‘Side Tank Coal Engine’.  Intended for short distance freight, the class soon demonstrated its usefulness and also found work on local passenger trains.  No. 1054 passed into LMS stock at the grouping of 1923, was re-numbered as 7799 and continued in use until 1939 when it was selected for withdrawal and scrapping.  But the onset of war brought changing requirements and the engine was reprieved.  It was not until November 1958 that a second call to the scrap yard came, and this time salvation arrived in the form of the successful preservation appeal.  The engine returned to steam in 1980 to take part in the 150th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.  In the care of the Bahamas Locomotive Society since 1973, it has again been overhauled and returned to action on the Keighley & Worth Valley railway in February 2012, painted in BR unlined black livery and carrying its BR number of 58926.

Later that month, a series of photo charters was organised, and the photos are a selection of results from the events of 22nd and 23rd February.

More details of the Coal Tank’s life and times can be found at:   http://www.coaltank.co.uk/past.html          


Peter Duncan   27.2.2012

Now facing Oxenhope, No. 58926 runs through Keighley station on 22nd February in charge of a two coach suburban set.

The awkward job of uncoupling is undertaken as 58926 waits at Keighley prior to running round and turning on 22nd February.

On 23rd February, the Coal Tank bursts from under a bridge at the head of a short freight, approaching Haworth from Oxenhope.

It was unfortunate that rain fell for most of the day on the 22nd, but at least the wet platform at Keighley shows some brightness as No. 58926 takes water from the column on the far track.

The afternoon of 23rd February was sunny at times, and in fine conditions, No. 58926 negotiates the sharp curve on the approach to Keighley station.