No.38, an 0-6-0T with 17 x 24″ outside cylinders, 3ft 9ins diameter wheels and a working weight of 44.5 tons. She was one of a batch of three similar locos ordered by the NCB Northumberland Area and was ex works on 8th June 1949 with the works number 1823.
As No.38 she was new to Rising Sun Colliery at Wallsend, where she worked traffic down the one and a quarter mile line to the British Railways Blyth & Tyne line, 1 mile North of Percy Main.
In April 1955 or September 1953 (opinions differ!) she moved to the loco shed at Backworth Colliery, returning in April 1956. Prior to the closure of Rising Sun Colliery in April 1969, she moved to Burradon loco sheds in November 1968, before moving to Bates Colliery at South Blyth on the Northumberland Coast by January 1971. Her stay here was only two months before she was moved to Shilbottle Colliery in North Northumberland in March 1971. Here she was known as a poor steamer, no doubt due to her boiler not being washed out very often, if at all.
She was sold to the Tanfield Railway and moved to Marley Hill in October 1973. Here No.38 was dismantled in preparation for overhaul, which unfortunately never commenced. Therefore, No.38 was stored for many years in the yard at Marley Hill without any work taking place.
In 2012, the Rising Sun Locomotive Trust (RSLT) was formed by a group of four Tanfield Volunteers with a view to restoring No.38 to working order for use on the Tanfield Railway. In the same year, a boiler exam was undertaken, the RSLT took ownership of the locomotive and work to restore the locomotive commenced.
So far, the restoration project has made good progress; many parts have so far been found, cleaned and repaired and cleaning of the locomotive has taken place (including needle-gunning the cab floor) in order to facilitate further overhaul work in the near future.
13/01/15 Update - The tanks, cab and bunker have now been removed to release the boiler, which has been jacked up clear of the frames for final inspection before sending it off-site for repairs.
30/12/2016 Update - Tyre and bearing machining has been completed in house by volunteers. Work on the chassis is also underway.
Photos: No.38 at Marley Hill (left) and working at Shilbottle (right)
26 December 2017