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69 is another of the railway's austerity tank engines. Like Wheldale, Monckton, No. 8 and 68005 it has 18" cylinders and is an ideal locomotive for running the line. It was built by Hunslets (3785) in 1953, and came to the railway from NCB South Hetton Colliery, County Durham, entering traffic almost at once.
Whilst it was in service here, it became a very well liked locomotive, and it would be interesting now to see how it performs on the section from Bolton Abbey to Skibeden summit against the other austerities.
69 was withdrawn for a major overhaul in 1984, which has yet to take place, which will include a lot of work on the chassis as there is a lot of play in everything, as was discovered when trying to bar it along the shed base to get at S112 during its current overhaul! Despite this, 69's owner and his family are currently giving it a cosmetic overhaul to tidy it up ready for when the new Yorkshire Industrial Locomotive Museum is completed.
Further information on the South Hetton system can be found at: http://www.cirsel.freeserve.co.uk/Hetton.htm. Special thanks to Les Richardson (who runs the site) and also to Doug Hardy for allowing us to use the photo of 69 at work in industrial ownership.
South Hetton Colliery no longer exists, but Tom Ireland's photos taken in December 2004 show the memorial marking the existence of the pits.
69 has now been reassembled and moved off the shed base. This entailed it being slid from road 5 to road 4 and then shunted across to the carriage sidings to allow the cladders access to the shed base.
Work on 69 at Embsay
More photos of 69 at Embsay