Historic USA dock tank engine has been sold

Posted by Chris Graham on 5th September 2022

Historic USA dock tank engine moves on from the Bluebell Railway, into private ownership for restoration, but will return!

Historic USA dock tank engine

Historic USA dock tank engine: No 30064 pauses between duties at the cattle dock at Sheffield Park, on March 28th, 1976. (Pic: Bluebell Archive)

The Bluebell Railway’s USA dock tank engine WD1959 (BR No. 30064), a stalwart of services in the 1970s and early 1980s, has been sold by the railway to an undisclosed buyer.

There being no plans for the 0-6-0T to become usefully operational in the foreseeable future, the railway’s management have accepted an offer from a private individual to purchase it with a view to a five/six-year restoration, from where it would make a return visit in steam to the line.

The engine has sat in Horsted Keynes sidings for many years, one of the new owner’s first jobs will be asbestos removal. The funds received by the Bluebell Railway from the sale are to be ring-fenced for future loco restoration.

In its War Dept livery, the USA tank stands forlorn as it awaits removal from Horsted Keynes. (Pic: Matthew Cousins)

Society chairman Paul Churchman said: “This is not the thin end of the wedge, and it does not represent the beginning of the sale of our historic collection. We will simply never realistically restore this engine and, therefore, it is right for us, as preservationists, to sell it to someone who will.

The locomotive, along with its sisters in the class, were known latterly for their shunting activities in BR days at the docks in Southampton.

This news item comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE

 

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