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The Austin Motor Company: misc_indust218

0-6-0ST 'Vulcan' shunts a train of loaded carflats past Longbridge East Signal Box on 8th September 1971

0-6-0ST 'Vulcan',Works No 2994, shunts a train of loaded carflats past Longbridge East Signal Box on 8th September 1971. This saddle tank was one of two identical locomotives (No 401 and 403) purchased from the Steel Company of South Wales (Margam Works), Glamorgan in September 1957. These locomotives had both been built circa 1950 by WG Bagnall Ltd at their Castle Engine Works in Stafford (Works Nos 2994 and 2995). They were designed for low maintenance and provided with outside cylinders, Walschaerts valve gear, self-cleaning smokebox, rocking grate with hopper ashpan, mechanical lubricators and roller main bearings. In November 1973 they were both bought for preservation by the West Somerset Railway, but ‘Vulcan’ subsequently moved to the North Tyneside Railway where the locomotive was restored as No 401 and named 'Thomas Burt'.

Vulcan, works No.2994, was one of three engines built by Bagnalls of Stafford in 1950 for the Steel Corporation of Wales for their Abbey, Margam and Port Talbot works. They were probably the most advanced industrial engines ever built in the United Kingdom, and had outside cylinders with Walschaerts valve gear, rocking grate, self-cleaning smokebox, twin brake blocks and roller bearings throughout. When diesels took over in 1957, two of them were sold to Austin at Longbridge and named Victor and Vulcan. This view was probably taken soon after arrival with one of the two Hunslet Engine locomotives, either Austin 2 or Austin 3 behind. They were painted in dark green with yellow lining and given the Austin heraldic device which caused the works plates to be moved to the top of the saddle tank support. Both were preserved and originally went to the West Somerset Railway but were ousted as that railway brought in main line locomotives, Vulcan was sold to the Metropolitan Borough of Tyneside for use at its Stephenson Museum and renamed Thomas Burt MP 1837-1922, and is still there today.

Robert Ferris