Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0 Crane tank 7069 ‘Southwick’

A specialist locomotive for the Wearside shipyards

‘Southwick’ is probably the most unusual locomotive to be found on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. These antiquated looking crane tanks were a familiar sight right up to the early 1970s.

A hard life, heavy lifting in the north-east.

Built to a design dating back to the turn of the century, ‘Southwick’ was not built until 1942 and outlasted many a more modern locomotive, only being retired in 1971.


Data File

Built: 1942 Newcastle
Boiler Pressure: 180 psi
Tractive Effort: 9,720 lbf
Weight 26 tons
Valve Gear: Modified Joy
Cylinders: 12”x15″ Outside
Numbers carried during working career: 7069, ‘Southwick’


This engine is one of relatively few to be ever built to a crane tank design. These engines were ideal for use in steelworks and shipyards. “Southwick” was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in 1942 as works number 7069 for William Doxford and Sons, Ltd, being employed at their Pallion Shipyard in Sunderland where it worked until 1970.

‘Southwick’ was the ninth engine of its type to be employed at Doxford’s and, continuing the company tradition, was named after the Sunderland District of Southwick. The engine has a unique method of operation in having no cables or gearing. Instead, a vertical lifting cylinder is incorporated into the crane structure and its piston is connected to the end of the jib. Steam at full pressure is always maintained on the upper side of the piston and pressure on the underside is controlled from the cab.

The jib is pivoted at a point on the forward end of the crane structure and, with full pressure on the underside, the piston is in equilibrium and the weight of the jib causes it to drop. When steam is exhausted from the underside, the full boiler pressure on the top of the piston causes the jib to rise. A 2-cylinder engine is provided to slew the jib through the whole 360°. There are three lifting points on the jib allowing 4 tons to be lifted nearest the engine, 3 tons on the intermediate hook and 2 tons on the outer hook.

When rail traffic to the yard ceased in 1971, the locomotive was purchased privately for preservation and moved to the Dinting Railway Centre and eventually to Ingrow on the KWVR. The crane tank has never operated whilst at Ingrow.