80136 follows the return to steam of two more locomotives that have been out of action for around eighteen months each. 44806, a “Black Five” locomotive built in 1944, needed a new tender and general overhaul of running gear – she returned on 21 July. Meanwhile 61264, a 1947 “Thompson B1” and one of only two in existence, had been sidelined with cracks in her main driving wheels, necessitating them being removed, sent away for specialist repair and refitted to the loco.
One of the major milestones in restoring a steam locomotive is that moment when the boiler is reunited with the frames; a moment which occurred for 80136 on 21 June 2016. She passed her insurance exam just one month later on 21 July – a very quick turnaround indeed! After finishing touches and a new coat of paint, all that was left was to track down and fix a mysterious leak in one of the main steam pipe joints and she was ready to haul her first passengers.
80136 is a British Railways Standard Class 4 Tank, she was built in Brighton in 1956 and retired in 1965, just nine years later. 80136 has recently moved to the line from the Crewe Heritage Centre and arrived in April 2016 in pieces. Since then, the expert team at the Motive Power Depot in Grosmont have been working hard to get her back to working order.
Motive Power Manager, Paul Middleton and his hard-working team can’t rest on their laurels just yet. Aside from keeping all these temperamental old machines running, there are more locos approaching the end of long layoffs: the two Southern Railway locomotives “Hartland” and “Repton”, and 80135 (another Standard 4 Tank and sister to 80136) are all slated to return during 2017.
When visiting the railway, be sure to take a stroll through the tunnel from Grosmont station to visit the engine sheds and see what the team are up to!
North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the most historic lines in the North of England, taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 18 mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains.
The railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations.
For regular news, updates and competitions, North Yorkshire Moors Railway is also on Facebook facebook.com/northyorkshiremoorsrailway/ and Twitter twitter.com/nymr.