Charwelton after a climb up the bank 200310

Charwelton after a climb up the bank - 20 March 2010

Charwelton taken spring 2010 by Lewis J Brockway

No. 14 Charwelton
Image courtesy of Lewis J Brockway

This locomotive was built in 1917 by Manning Wardle (works No. 1955). She has been described as the sole remaining example of that manufacturer's class O, although she was described on delivery as a '15" special' Her first owner was the Parkgate Iron and Steel Company of Charwelton, Northamptonshire. There she worked virtually single handed on ironstone quarry lines for upwards of 25 years. By the beginning of World War 2 Charwelton was almost worn out and was transferred by Parkgate to their Sproxton quarry in Lincolnshire where two years were spent undergoing major overhaul. the quarry railway at Sproxton was closed in 1963 and Charwelton came to the K&ESR in January 1964.

Charwelton was steamed for works trains on a number of occasions but on overhaul in 1973 was found to have severe cracking in the firebox walls. In 1976 it was sold to a member and restored away from the Railway. It returned in September 1982, immaculately turned out in its original lined umber livery, and with its newly fitted vacuum brake equipment was soon working passenger services. It was withdrawn in May 1983 for repairs to its axle boxes following derailment damage. After a short period on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, the locomotive returned to the K&ESR in March 1986 and was a frequent performer with the Victorian Train. In April1998 Charwelton became the second K&ESR locomotive to pay a short visit to the Baye de Somme Railway in northern France. Withdrawn for a routine overhaul in 2001 she returned to service in re-painted livery in the spring of 2010. Sadly she developed boiler problems in April 2017 and has been withdrawn from traffic pending repairs.


Builder: Manning Wardle
Weight 28 tons 15 cwt
Tractive effort 7,810 lbs.
Cylinders (2) 15 in. dia x 22 in. stroke
Boiler Pressure 150 lbs.
Wheels 3 feet 9 ins. diameter.