Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

S134 Wheldale

These two photographs show Wheldale at work shortly before it was sold to the railway. They are both taken by John Furness and show Wheldale Colliery.

(C) John Furness (C) John Furness
(C) Charles Boylan Wheldale is a standard Austerity, from one of the first batches to be built by Hunslets. It was a development of their 18" 50550 class - to which S112 belongs. It was built in 1944, bearing their works number 3168. Although it is referred to by its NCB number, S134, it became part of the Army's fleet, based at Bicester, as their No. 134 - it would appear that the coal board simply added an 'S' prefix later! The photograph on the right shows Wheldale on one of its first runs after entering preservation, still in green livery.

(C) Andy Lister Wheldale came to the railway from NCB Wheldale Colliery, Castleford, where it had been at work until the early eighties. Whilst it was at Wheldale, two ladders were fitted to the sides of the tank, to allow for easier access to the tank filler. These have been retained and serve as a good way of recognising the loco from old photos! The second photograph shows Wheldale carrying a plain maroon livery, shortly before its first overhaul.

Wheldale was in good mechanical condition, upon arrival, but required a new set of boiler tubes - thankfully the money was raised for these quickly, and the loco was returned to service for a ten year spell until its boiler certificate expired mid way through the 90s.

Wheldale leaving Holywell Halt for Embsay. (C) Dave Outibridge Wheldale awaiting the 'right away' to leave Embsay. (C) Dave Hebden
Supporting a fully lined maroon livery, Wheldale became one of the main locomotives in the railway's fleet, and some publicity posters are still available featuring this - notably the current poster which shows the loco in Bolton Abbey Station, despite the fact it has not yet reached there!

Despite being sent away to Byworth

More photos of Wheldale at Embsay

(c) M.G.Riley Wheldale is in full NCB Maroon, and also with her NCB driver, Colin Davies, seen here on the footplate. The layout of the cab can be appreciated from this view.
(c) M. G. Riley.
(c) M.G.Riley Wheldale coasts into Embsay station from Bow Bridge Loop on a very quiet operating day. Having loops at both ends of the line allowed Embsay 'box to be locked out, requiring a signalman only at the beginning and end of the day. That is why the signal to the rear of the train is 'off' although the train is only just entering the station.
(c) M. G. Riley.
(c) Tom Ireland Wheldale is currently being repainted in the new shed for static display on the line until the funds are available for the overhaul to continue. A new saddletank is available, although it won't be fitted until the overhaul is restarted.
(c) Tom Ireland.

Top Locomotives

Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (Holdings) Limited
Registered Charity No. 1116386
Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AF
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