246 “Morayshire”

LNER CLASS D49 Class 4-4-0 No.246 "Morayshire"

246 'Morayshire' crosses Swithland Reservoir on 10.10.10 - Paul BiggsNo.246 was completed at Darlington in February, 1928 and during the time from 1928 to Nationalisation was shedded at Dundee, Perth, Haymarket and St Margarets. By the time she reached Haymarket in 1944 "Morayshire" had undergone five general overhauls and one heavy overhaul. These included new frames and cylinders in 1935 and the boiler changed four times. When originally built the engine was fitted with Westinghouse air braking. In the LNER renumbering of 1946 "Morayshire" was allocated 2712 and under BR was amended to 62712. In 1958 the engine was moved to Thornton Junction and after two years was transferred to Hawick. July, 1961 saw "Morayshire", by then the last remaining member of her class, being withdrawn but instead of being cut up for scrap was moved to Slateford Landry in Edinburgh for use as a stationary boiler. This lasted until January, 1962 at which time she was put into store at Dalry Road Edinburgh.

In 1962 Ian Fraser who had worked on the class at Darlington had become interested in the fate of "Morayshire" and after negotiations with BR it was transferred to Dawsholm Shed in Glasgow pending further developments. In 1964 the engine was hauled by "Gordon Highlander" to Inverurie Works for restoration. ICI at Ardeer was able to store the locomotive until 1966 when it then moved to the Royal Elizabeth Dockyard at Dalmeny where she was officially handed over to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh. In 1974 the Royal Scottish Museum agreed to loan it to the SRPS with the aim of returning it to steam. The engine had work carried out on the boiler and running gear and participated in the 150th Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway at Shildon in August, 1975. The engine was based at Falkirk and used on the main line until withdrawn from service in 1983. The engine was partially dismantled at Falkirk and due to relocation of the SRPS to Bo'ness and other priorities overhaul work only restarted in earnest in early 2000. This overhaul was completed in late July 2003 in time to participated in the open day at Doncaster works. The locomotive became operational on the line at Bo'ness in August 2005. In 2011 the engine was removed from traffic to fit new tyres to the driving wheels and re-metaling of the axle boxes. The tender wheel sets also have had their tyres re-profiled and springs re-furbished. The locomotive will be turned out in for the 2014 running season in BR lined black for the remainder of its boiler ticket.

No.246 visited the GCR in 2010 for the Steam Railway Gala.

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