Sign up to our e-newsletter and keep up to date with news, events and developments at the Tanfield Railway, the World’s Oldest Railway.
NCB No.38, Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns, Works No.7763
Number 38 has 18 x 24" outside cylinders, 4ft diameter wheels and weighs 53 tons. She was one of a batch of seven identical locos built for the NCB′s extensive Ashington system in Northumberland. She was fitted with a turbo generator and electric headlight for use here. Number 38 was ex-works from Newcastle Works on 20th April 1954 in lined black livery, with works number 7763.
No.38 was sent, ex-works, to work on the NCB Ashington System, which served the collieries of Ashington, Ellington, Linton, Lynemouth and Woodhorn, as well as Longhurst and Coneygarth Drift Mines. There was a double tracked, 8.5 mile, circular main line and both coal and miner′s passenger trains were operated round the clock. The line was also used by British Railways (BR) trains.
No.38 was sent from Ashington to the NCB Linton Workshops in May 1958 for repair, before returning to Ashington. However, all was not well and she was sent to the NCB Ashington Central Workshops in December 1958 for further repair. Returning in September 1959, she went back to Ashington Central Workshops for overhaul in November 1962, returning in March 1963. In March 1968 she went back to Ashington Central Workshops for overhaul, where she was repainted in the NCB Northumberland area dark blue livery with the area crest. She carried her NCB plant number 9312/38 stamped on her front buffer beam.
By October 1968 she had returned, but was sent to NCB Shilbottle Colliery in North Northumberland in October 1969. Here she worked the 2 mile long branch to join BR at a junction just 1.5 miles south of Alnmouth Station. By 5/1971 she was sent to the nearby Whittle Colliery, with it′s steeply graded 4.25 mile long branch to join BR at a junction 2 1/2 miles north of Acklington Station. At Whittle there was no loco shed and the locos were not well looked after, being maintained in the open air.
No.38 returned to Shilbottle in May 1972, where she was bought through the Stephenson and Hawthorns Locomotive Trust and moved to Marley Hill in November 1973. Here, she was restored to working order and painted in her original lined black livery. In the early 2000s, No.38 was withdrawn from traffic and disassembled. In 2011, No.38 was re-assembled, and can be found, stored intact, in the 5-road shed.
Photo: No.38 seen hauling a mixed train out of Marley Hill towards Terrace Junction
Status: Restored, Stored in 5-Road Shed
26 May 2018