Locomotives associated with the SLS
(page updated 11 September 2011)
Stephenson (Class 87)
"Gladstone" at the National Railway Museum on special display to mark the 70th anniversary of its preservation. Photo by Bruce Nathan.
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On 20th September 1997 members of the Stephenson Locomotive Society met at the National Railway Museum, York, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of preservation by the Society of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway Stroudley "B" Class 0-4-0 No214 Gladstone. This was the first instance of preservation of a locomotive by a private body. Gladstone was built in 1882, went into service at Brighton in January 1883 and was withdrawn in December 1926, after running 1,346,918 miles. The SLS had been founded at Croydon in 1909 and there was a strong interest in Brighton locomotives among the early members. Therefore in 1926 as many older locomotives were being withdrawn by the Southern Railway, the Society felt that something of the LB&SCR should be preserved and negotiations were put in hand for the purchase of Gladstone.
To read more about Gladstone click here. | Back to top of page
In Orion the SLS are custodians of an engine with tremendous, historic, significance. Although only a miniature locomotive, constructed to run on 9 1/2" gauge track, Orion (LNWR 1957 of the 'Alfred the Great' class) was built approximately 100 years ago by G.R.S. Darroch. Darroch was Assistant Works Manager at Crewe until 1941, and he bequeathed Orion to the Society on his death in 1959.
The size of the engine does not diminish this significance. Orion is the last surviving Webb Compound in the world to have been built at Crewe Works by the London & North Western Railway. Orion is one of only a handful of former LNWR locomotives surviving in preservation anywhere in the world, to any scale. Although built for private use by Mr Darroch all the parts of the locomotive were cast and machined at Crewe Works and the locomotive therefore qualifies as a genuine LNWR locomotive. There are undoubtedly other live steam locomotives built as replicas of LNWR prototype designs. The SLS-owned Orion is unique, this example is the only one built by the LNWR in its main workshops and therefore, as mentioned above, is a genuine LNWR locomotive survivor!
The last surviving, Crewe built, LNWR Webb compound. Orion raises steam at the Downs School Railway, Colwall on Sunday 24 April 2005. Photo © John New/SLS
Photo = the original "Orion" (Not the miniature locomotive) Reproduced with permission - courtesy of the Ian Allan Library Collection (Image No 9863)
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Restoration of the locomotive was successfully completed in spring 2005. On Sunday 24 April 2005 during the Society's AGM weekend, following earlier trial steamings, Orion was steamed and run in front of a gathering of Society members and guests. A short ceremony was held to mark the completion of this overhaul.
To read about the book "Orion and the Alfred's" see the publications page.
To view the locomotive - not currently on public display. (Section updated 15 March 2020)
To read more about Orion click here. | Back to top of page
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AC Electrics "Stephenson" (87 001 and 87 101)
87 001- In autumn 2005 Porterbrook Leasing, owners of the locomotive since privatisation, passed the pioneer class 87 to the custody of the National Railway Museum to be included within the National Collection of preserved locomotives. Stephenson had been "stood down" with a defective transformer prior to the last Class 87 runs on Virgin West coast scheduled services. - The nameplates on this locomotive were attached in association with the SLS and are featured on our nameplates page.
To read more details about the naming history of the two AC electric locomotives which carried the Stephenson name and are associated with the SLS click here.
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LBSC No 329 Stephenson
LB&SCR ‘Brighton Baltic’ No.329, Stephenson was built at Brighton Works in 1921. By that time the exuberant livery of the line had given way to a sober, umber colour and the naming of engines had largely been abandoned. The SLS, well connected with the Brighton ‘Establishment’, requested that one of the new 4-6-4T express locomotives, designed for the London-Brighton run, be named after ‘The Father of the Modern Locomotive’, in the words of J N Maskelyne, SLS President at the time.
To read more about No 329 click here. | Back to top of page
Class 66 No. 66 957 "Stephenson Locomotive Society 1909 - 2009"
Leaving the Eastleigh station area on 3 August 2011 was ‘our’ locomotive, Freightliner’s Class 66 66957 Stephenson Locomotive Society 1909-2009, heading a special engineer’s rail train 6Z28 from Eastleigh Yard to Hackney Yard (Newton Abbot). Note the 50mph limit on the up road. - John Vaughan
Click the left hand image for a larger view
The class are diesel electrics of 3,300bhp Co-Co type made by General Motors EMD and can be found working freight trains across the UK with similar types also supplied to European operators. As the Class 66 is a modern locomotive type a considerable volume of information is already published elsewhere on-line about the technical details of the locomotive class and therefore only limited information specific to 66 957 need be given here. This particular locomotive is in the care of Freightliner and at the time of the naming ceremony it was based at their Leeds depot.
For a comprehensive and fully detailed description covering the type/class including much technical information see the Wikipedia page.
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