No.1 was built in 1951 as works number 7683 and delivered to Meaford Power Station where it shunted coal wagons. Built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in Newcastle, No.1 was one of several delivered around the country to haul heavy loads at slow speeds. During its time at Meaford, the loco would have been used to move coal from mainline sidings into the power station. Similar locos could be seen working in Ashington, Backworth and Consett. Before arriving at the railway, No.1 was overhauled at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway and moved back to Tyne and Wear in 1996. The loco carries the name ‘Ted Garrett’ and is currently on display in the museum until funds are available for repairs to the loco’s firebox.
George Stephenson was appointed as engine-wright at Killingworth colliery in 1812 and immediately set about improving the haulage of coal from the mine with stationary steam engines. He had taken an interest in some of Blenkinsop’s and Blackett’s work at Wylam colliery and in 1814 he persuaded the managers of the Killingworth colliery to experiment with a travelling engine… He designed a series of locomotives between 1814 and 1816 including Blutcher and Billy. Blutcher was even capable of hauling 30 tons at speeds of up to 4mph. Billy worked at Killingworth colliery until 1881 when it was presented to the City of Newcastle. Billy is the third oldest steam locomotive in the world and is displayed on a short stretch of track in the museum.
Ashington No.5 was built in 1939 by Peckett & Sons in Bristol for the Ashington Coal Company. In the same year No.5 and her sister locomotive, No.6, were delivered to Ashington where they spent most of their working lives. At the time, Ashington Coal Company operated one of Britain’s largest colliery railway systems. When steam locos were eventually replaced by diesels she was sold by the NCB to North Norfolk Railway in 1969. The Peckett arrived at North Tyneside in 1991 in a ‘mustard brown’ livery. After arriving at the railway, Ashington No.5 was painted into the Peckett green- the livery she carried when delivered to Ashington Coal Company. No.5 was named ‘Jackie Milburn’ during her time at Stephenson Railway Museum. After full overhaul the locomotive returned to traffic in 2010 and regularly hauls the passenger service at the railway.
A.No.5 was built in 1883 by Kitson & Co. Leeds for the Consett Iron & Steel Company. It was built to the long boiler design- developed by Robert Stephenson to increase steam production. Whilst having a longer boiler, Stephenson gave the loco a short wheelbase by keeping the firebox behind the third axle. The shorter wheelbase was necessary as the loco had to negotiate tight curves whilst working at Consett. She worked up until 1972 at Derwenthaugh Coke Works before being moved to Beamish Museum and then to the Monkwearmouth Station Museum in Sunderland. Here, the Monkwearmouth Station Museum Association (later NTSRA) was established and they began restoring the loco in very basic conditions. After the move to Middle Engine Lane, she returned to steam in 1986 and has been used frequently on trains since then acting mainly as a standby locomotive.
We might not have overhead wires at North Tyneside Steam Railway, but visitors can still experience the sights and sounds of a Harton electric locomotive on special event days throughout the year. E4 was built by Seimens for the Harton coal system in 1912. Similar locomotives, such as E9 and E2, can be seen at other railways in the North East. After a successful lottery bid and sponsorship from the local Seimens Microchip Company, the locomotive was restored to working order and can be seen shunting around the yard on selected days throughout the year. Despite being built to receive power from an overhead supply, the locomotive now runs on batteries stored in the wagon that is permanently coupled behind it.
People who often visited Newcastle Central Station around the 1970s might recognise D2078. The railway’s 03 diesel shunter was based at Gateshead depot as 03078 and could often be seen shunting several carriages around the station. The loco hauls passenger trains a few times every year- playing a big role in the ‘Diesel Days’. D2078 is currently sporting a similar livery to 401 and carries the North Tyneside Council crest on either side.
Nearly 1000 diesel 08 locomotives were built between 1952 and 1962 and are a common sight on the mainline and on heritage railways around the country because of their diverse capabilities. 08915 has worked at Longsight and Allerton depots before arriving at the railway in 2010. Our Class 08 provides a reliable standby locomotive in all seasons and is currently under-going cosmetic restoration to BR Blue.