Number 24 was a very popular locomotive whilst she was based on our line and in many ways has demonstrated that a 2-6-2 tender locomotive would be the ideal locmotive for our line. She had been built for and by the Fairbourne and Barmouth Railway in North Wales as a 12-¼inch gauge half-scale model of locomotive No.24 on the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad in Maine in America. Fairbourne had built the locomotive to demonstrate their potential of building locomotives for other lines. Orders were not forthcoming and she was eventually sold to the Bure Valley Railway in an effort to ease the BVR’s motive power problems.
On the BVR she was regauged but quickly showed that she was not suited to the demanding work on that railway. In 1992 she was fitted with a new boiler after her original had been condemned after only three years use. The new boiler had a better arrangement and a deeper firebox that altered her appearance and her performance. However she was still not the machine for the BVR and in 1993 Mike Hart transferred the locomotive to our line, as he no longer owned the BVR and wanted to store Sandy River where she could be run from time to time.
She was pressed into service and it became quickly apparent the locomotive was in a poor state. She failed seriously when her wheelsets regauged themselves to 12 ¼-inch gauge while on test. The locomotive was taken into the workshops and work was done to improve her significantly. Including modifications to her valve gear and the introduction of space age materials to her regulator faces. Later additions included fitting a tender back cab, as her open cab was found to be very exposed on winter operations.
She returned to the BVR on loan in 1997 and was offered for sale and was eventually bought by a consortium from the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. She remains on the CCLR today although she is the sole property of Mr. Roger Loxley. She has returned to us since albeit for only a brief time. The event was our tenth anniversary weekend in 2001 when the locomotive was invited back and for one weekend the Dearne Valley once again reverberated to the sound of a very loud three-tone chime whistle!!!
The locomotive has seen many improvements whilst based at Cleethorpes and she visited us again in 2007 and quickly demonstrated what she was now capable of....and oh that whistle!!!
Her livery when she originally arrived at the KLR was all black and she was then numbered 2. Whilst with us she was repainted in a very similar yellow and black livery to that which Owl now carries and continued life as No.2. At all other times she has been painted Black with various combinations of numbering and lettering been carried. During her 2001 visit her smokebox was painted silver but by 2007 she was entirely black again, infact freshly repainted.
(History provided by Stuart Ross)
Why not click the link below to see the Number 24 web site.