HUNCOAT No.3, Hawthorn Leslie & Co. Works No.3746

R & W Hawthorn Leslie developed a range of six coupled locos over the years and several of the designs survived long enough for examples to be built by their successors Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns.

The Tanfield Railway has examples of three of the designs in its collection :-

HUNCOAT No.3 is an 0-6-0Fireless loco with 20 x 18″ outside cylinders 3ft 0.5ins diameter driving wheels and weighs 36 Tons. She was ex-works on 17th January 1929, with the works number 3746. Fireless locomotives work by adding steam to a receiver part full of water. The steam generated is routed through a reducing valve to power the cylinders. Such locos can operate for about four hours before recharging, but power reduces as the pressure slowly drops. They are ideal for factories handling explosives and paper products, as they produce no sparks and for use at plants with a ready supply of steam, such as power stations. Our locomotive is fitted with a superheater / steam dryer.

Initially un-named and un-numbered, she was new to the County Borough of Oldham Electricity Dept, Slacks Lane Electricity Works, Oldham, Lancashire. When the industry was nationalised in April 1948, she became the property of the British Electricity Authority and in April 1955, the Central Electricity Authority. In January 1958, this became the Central Electricity Generating Board and in December 1958, she was moved to Huncoat Power Station, Accrington, Lancashire, where she was named HUNCOAT No.3. She shared duties here with two WG Bagnall 0-4-0 Fireless locomotives. The locomotives here were a familiar sight to steam enthusiasts passing on the remaining few main line steam workings. At Huncoat, she moved wagons of coal from BR and the adjacent NCB Huncoat Colliery.

Following the closure of the power station, she moved to Marley Hill in November 1982 and is to be cosmetically restored. She can be found by the side of the five road shed.

Photo: HUNCOAT No.3 outside the 5-road shed, By E.Garrod

Status: Stored, Marley Hill Yard