Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

'Thomas' (formerly 'Dorothy')

(C) Charles Adams. Dorothy first came to the railway in the 70s, and was left in the sidings as a lot of work was required after its industrial career. It was a 16" 0-6-0 saddletank engine, built by Hudswell Clarke (1450) in 1922, having formerly worked at British Steel, Scunthorpe. In appearance it was very similar to Slough Estates No. 5, but smaller. A start was made on its restoration, and the boiler was tested back in 1992. Since then little work was done due to a number of circumstances. The photo shows No. 8 as it was on arrival at Embsay.

(C) Stephen Walker. Thomas the Tank Engine has proved very good news for this little engine, as it is currently being converted into this form. The reasons for doing this are numerous - it is a very small loco, and so would be unsuitable for services over the whole line, and the remainder of the loco was in appalling condition. Consequently the decision was reached to convert it into 'Thomas', and a completely new superstructure has been made and fitted to this end. Currently it is having the finishing touches put to it, possibly including a new set of rods as the others are very worn and may not be suitable.

(C) Tim Warner. The second picture shows Thomas as 'No.8' (the number originally allocated to Dorothy), perched on the end of the shed base, the boiler having been overhauled (certified 1992), and fitted with a giesel chimney. This was as far as the owners got until 'Thomas' came to the rescue. The chassis were known to be poor, but the full extent of this was only discovered during its recent overhaul and conversion. Despite the boiler being certified so long ago, it needs no further work as it has not been used since the test.

(c) William Lister Despite earlier concerns about the state of the rods, they were tested and found to be perfectly suitable for further use, although the crankpins in the wheels needed replacing and a lot of work has been done on the brasses for the rods which had a tendancy to run hot. It would have been much easier with hindsight to build new frames for the loco! Anyway, after a lot of hard work, the loco has begun to prove itself capable, venturing outside the shed on numerous occasions for running-in trips, as well as hire to other lines. It has served as Thomas for the last few Easters, although this year it can well and truely claim to have been fully serviceable. 140 has one more booking as Thomas before No.8 takes over allowing 140 to enter traffic at Embsay after a repaint.

More photos of Thomas at Embsay

(C) Charles Adams. Cleaning out the smokebox upon arrival at Embsay, still retaining its steelworks livery. One visitor at a Thomas event wondered what had happened to Dorothy, only to be told "You're standing on her".
(c) Charles Adams.
(C) Mike Hanson. Dorothy, as she then was, got a coat of paint early on, which lasted an incredibly long time, until her gender change was initiated... (sorry - no large version of this photo)
(c) Mike Hanson.
(C) Tim Warner. This is the occasion of one of Thomas' first appearances outside the shed, quite some time ago. At this point there remained a lot to do on the loco, but it was encouraging to see it in daylight.
(c) Tim Warner.
(C) Tim Warner. What is very apparant from this view is the size (or lack of it!) of this loco.
(c) Tim Warner.
(c) Tom Ireland Early April and Thomas undergoes a test steaming outside the shed at Embsay with Annie for company which had been withdarawn for overhaul, but appeared static for the Easter Day out with Thomas.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland Seen again in steam, this time viewed from nearer the coal dock.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland 17 / 18th May and Thomas runs under its own steam at Embsay as part of the essential running in after the major work that has been carried out during the overhaul. Here Thomas is seen approaching the bracket at Embsay, running between the carriage shed and the conservation building.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland A close-up of Thomas alongside the carriage shed at Embsay, presumably stationary, awaiting clearance to enter the station itself.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tim Warner Unfortunately as the loading shovel was requiring new tyres, Thomas had to be coaled by hand using the conveyor. Seen from the signalbox, members of the loco department help shovelling coal as Thomas raises steam.
(c) Tim Warner.
(c) Tim Warner As a running-in exercise, Thomas was used to shunt the Stately Trains carriages, before Cranford took charge of the running of the train.
(c) Tim Warner.
(c) Tim Warner In between trains, Thomas was run up and down in Embsay station limits, but also ventured further down the line whilst the service train was waiting at Embsay. Thomas is seen having just entered Platform 2, as Monckton waits to depart for Bolton Abbey.
(c) Tim Warner.

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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