From Barry to Keighley, our second engine to be rescued from the scrap man
Rescued by the Standard Four Locomotive Society, the 21st departure from Barry, 75078 arrived on the KWVR in June 1972. The restoration was completed in 1977 and operates today after successive overhauls, the last completed in October 2022.
History of 75078 – British Railways to KWVR
Completed in 1956, 75078 was delivered new to Exmouth Junction, eventually withdrawn from Eastleigh shed in July 1966 and sold for scrap to Woodham Bros. of South Wales.
Restoration completed in 1977, 75078 is a popular engine with both the public and the crews that operate it
Built: 1956 Swindon
Boiler Pressure: 225 psi
Tractive Effort: 25,520 lbf
Weight: 67.9 tons engine; 42.15 tons tender
Valve Gear: Walschaerts
Cylinders: 18″ x 28″ Outside
Numbers carried during working career: BR 75078
In British Railways service
After the nationalisation of Britain’s railways (from 1st January 1948), there were several exchange trails of locomotives from the LMS, LNER, GWR, and Southern Railway over each of the former company’s lines which led to the development of several new classes of locomotives. The classes were intended for medium-sized passenger, and freight turns with the advantage of low axle loading allowing the widest possible route availability. The Standard 4 class 4-6-0 had the edge over the 2-6-4T design thanks to the extra coal and water capacity it could carry. It also proved popular amongst footplate crews
Completed in 1956, 75078 is one of a class of 80 engines built to a standard British Railways design and is from a batch supplied to the Southern Region. As this region did not have any water troughs, it is attached to a tender with a larger capacity for water and coal than others of its class. In addition, it is fitted with a double blast pipe and chimney for better power outputs with more economic returns in coal and water consumption.
The loco went new to Exmouth Junction early in 1956 before being transferred to Basingstoke in May of the same year, eventually being withdrawn from Eastleigh shed in July 1966 and sold for scrap to Woodham Bros. of South Wales.
Saved for a life on the KWVR
The Standard Four Locomotive Preservation Society was formed in December 1969 initially to purchase a member of the Standard Class 4, 2-6-0, no. 76077. However, in June 1971, this locomotive proved to be in an unsuitable condition, so attention turned to the Standard Class 4 4-6-0 variant and in 1972, the purchase of 75078 was concluded, and it was moved to the KWVR in June of that year. Within one month of arriving on Worth Valley metals, restoration to working order commenced at Oakworth, with red oxide paint now masking the years of neglect at Barry.
Restoration to running order took five years, and in 1977, the engine entered service on the KWVR and proved popular with locomotive crews. It is the ideal size engine for our Railway, being suited to hauling our six coach summer services with ease and was in regular use until withdrawn in 1985.
Shortly after completion, the engine found fame in 1978 when it appeared, along with 5820, in the feature film Yanks, starring a young Richard Gere.
There followed a 3-year overhaul, re-entering KWVR service in the summer of 1988. Running the full extent of the 10-year boiler ticket, 75078 was again withdrawn for overhaul at the end of 1998 (although there was a lengthy spell out of traffic from 1991 to 1993 for major boiler repairs and new tyres to be fitted to the locomotive’s wheelsets).
There followed a 16-year period during which time the boiler underwent substantial refurbishment before the loco could be steamed again in December 2014. After a short run-in, the locomotive returned to front-line KWVR service in January 2015. The locomotive took its first official turn of duty, sporting a plain black livery pending full lining out later, on the 7th of February 2015.
For the 2015 Autumn Steam Spectacular lining out in late British Railways, the livery was complete, and the locomotive made a splendid sight attacking the Valley grades on various passenger, Pullman and freight duties. The locomotive has been a regular and popular performer.
The locomotive was withdrawn from service in 2020. After an extensive boiler overhaul, returned to service in November 2022 and is expected to run for another decade – with annual inspections and routine maintenance.