GWR 813 Saddle Tank
813 is an 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive built in 1900 by Hudswell Clarke for the Port Talbot Railway Company, which later became part of the GWRGreat Western Railway. It subsequently saw service at Backworth Colliery in Northumberland. The locomotive is owned by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund.
813 in main line service
The loco was originally built for the Port Talbot Railway & Docks Company (PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company), one of nine 0-6-0 saddle tanks owned by that company. She was built by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds, works number 555 of 1900, and entered service with the PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company in 1901 as number 26. Based at Duffryn Yard Depot, the locomotive was predominantly used for hauling coal trains and shunting in colliery sidings on the PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company's network.
In 1908 the GWRGreat Western Railway agreed to operate the PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company's trains and maintain their locos. As the PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company was still legally independent their locos were not fully absorbed into the GWRGreat Western Railway stock list, but with the GWRGreat Western Railway responsible for maintenance number 26 started to receive GWRGreat Western Railway standard parts to replace those originally fitted by Hudswell Clarke. The GWRGreat Western Railway took over the PTRPort Talbot Railway & Docks Company completely in 1922, and shortly afterwards 26 went to Swindon for overhaul, returning in 1924 as number 813. With the GWRGreat Western Railway keen to phase out non-standard locos from its fleet, 813 was withdrawn and put up for sale in 1933.
813 in industrial service
After 9 months on the GWRGreat Western Railway sales list, 813 was sold to Robert Stephenson & Company, who sold her on to Backworth Collieries Limited in Northumberland. Backworth renumbered her as number 12 and she survived to be passed to the NCBNational Coal Board with the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947. In 1950, she received a new boiler from her original manufacturers Hudswell Clarke, and was renumbered as NCBNational Coal Board 11. A new firebox followed in 1962, only five years before the NCBNational Coal Board withdrew her from service.
813 in preservation
The loco arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on the 25th November 1967. Following cosmetic restoration she appeared as a static exhibit at Rail 150 in 1975, and briefly returned to steam in 1976. However it was quickly found that further restoration work was required. The loco was able to steam again in 1984, and visited Didcot as part of the GW150 celebrations, but again suffered from mechanical problems and was taken out of service. The loco was stored out of use until 1996, before undergoing a thorough overhaul and rebuilding at Bridgnorth. She successfully returned to steam in summer 2000. Despite her small size, she was pressed straight into service on the SVRSevern Valley Railway due to a temporary loco shortage.
After returning to steam, 813 visited a large number of other railways around the UK before being withdrawn in 2009 for her next major overhaul at Bridgnorth Loco Works. This was completed by August 2016 and, after test runs, 813 was moved to Kidderminster for painting in September, and to Bridgnorth on 8 October for signwriting. The locomotive then featured in the Season Finale Gala held over the first weekend of November 2016.
See alsoSteam Locomotives
SVR-based locomotives visiting other events