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Rebuilt LSWR 0298 Class 2-4-0 Well Tank No. 0314

Newly restored Beattie in Down Yard platform October 2006

Robert Frise - Newly restored Beattie in Down Yard platform October 2006

Beattie in action 16th April 1979

Robert Frise - Beattie in action 16th April 1979

In 1863 the Beyer Peacock and Co. works at Gorton, Manchester completed the first of a class of 2-4-0 well tanks built to a design of Joseph Beattie for the London and South Western Railway. In all, eighty-five were built, successfully working the suburban services out of Waterloo, until the introduction of larger 4-4-2 tanks designed by William Adams in the early 1880s. When the Adams engines took over the suburban traffic, the well tanks were transferred to country depots for use on branch lines. Here, their small water capacity was found to be a drawback, so thirty-one of the class were rebuilt as tender engines with new boilers fitted at the same time. Six more received new boilers and enclosed cabs.

The tender engines and the un-rebuilt tank engines were withdrawn in the 1890s, together with three of the six reboilered tank engines. Only numbers 298, 314 and 329 survived (subsequently renumbered in the duplicate list as 0298, 0314 and 0329). Their remarkable survival was because in 1895 they were transferred to work on the Wenford Bridge china clay branch in Cornwall. It was found there were no other engines capable of working this lightly-laid mineral line with its tortuous curves, so nearby Wadebridge depot was to be their home for another sixty-seven years. Often when the well tanks became due for repair, the management of the LSWR, or its successor the Southern Railway, tried to get rid of them. Each time nothing suitable to replace them was found, so the vintage 2-4-0s were taken to Eastleigh Works for rebuilding or overhaul, and sent west again.

This situation continued until 1962, when the line came under the control of BR Western Region, when they were replaced by three 1369 class pannier tanks. Two of the trio have survived for preservation, 298 (ex BR 30587) as part of the National Collection and of course our own loco (ex-BR 30585), the latter machine having covered 1,314,838 miles in its eighty-nine years on the national system.

Since 314 entered service its appearance has changed beyond all recognition. Joseph Beattie's design had an open footplate and a most unusual design of firebox with two fire holes. In the 1890's William Adams fitted a new boiler and an enclosed cab. The next rebuild introduced a Drummond boiler and removal of the mechanical water pumps, giving an appearance much as when the society acquired the loco as No. 30585.

Beattie at unknown location

Simon Lathlane Collection - Beattie at an unknown location. Simon would be pleased to have the location and date confirmed - please use the email address in the page footer.

Beattie, as the loco is affectionately known, was purchased from British Railways in 1963 through the efforts of a handful of dedicated Quainton members. An initial approach to British Railways by the Bluebell Railway had come to nothing, and the secretary of the LRPS, Richard Castle, obtained a quote of £750 from British Railways for purchase of the locomotive. At the time the forerunner to the QRS, the LRPS, was struggling to find funds to purchase a Metropolitan Tank locomotive, so obtaining funds for the purchase of a second locomotive seemed unlikely. However, it was agreed that a separate fund for the purchase of 30585 should be started. By 14 October 1963 the fund stood at £47-4-7, at which British Railways, in the form of their Scrap Sales Department dropped a bombshell, requesting payment of the £750 within one month, otherwise the loco would be "disposed of elsewhere" Richard Castle managed to get an extension of time until the 31st December 1963, and with two loan cheques arriving just before the deadline, Beattie became the property of the LRPS. A cheque was posted off to British Railways a day before the deadline, despite a boiler inspection being awaited.

Beattie was towed as freight to the Hockerill Cold Store, Bishops Stortford, in March 1964 for a period of storage, before to transfer to Quainton on 9th May 1969. Seven years after ceasing work on the mainline network, she was returned to steam on 22nd March 1970, and then worked passenger trains in the down yard at Quainton for a number of years. However, in the 1980s major repairs became necessary and Beattie was withdrawn from service. In 1999 work was started on a major overhaul.

During 2005 Beattie's sister locomotive, No. 30587, part of the National Railway Museum's collection, was restored to operation at the Flour Mill in the Forest of Dean, and is now based at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. The overhaul of this locomotive was sponsored by Bodmin's Alan Moore, who very generously also decided to sponsor the completion of Beattie's restoration at the Flour Mill. As part of the restoration agreement, Quainton's Beattie will spend sometime operating with No. 30587 on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, close to their former Cornish base.

Beattie's first steaming after restoration took place on Saturday 7th October 2006 at Quainton, with an official re-launch by the Hon. Sir William McAlpine. A week later our Beattie left for Bodmin, as part of the restoration agreement, where she met her sister No. 30587. The two locomotives operated together probably for the first time since an enthusiast's special in 1962. In January 2007 Beattie returned from Bodmin to Quainton, although further return trips to Cornwall will occur over the next few years. The next one was in October 2008 for their Branch Line weekend, staying until the end of that year. Beattie also has spent time visiting other railways, including the Mid Hants Railway for their steam gala in March 2007. Visits in 2010 included Swanage Railway's Victorian Gala in May 2010, followed by a short trip to the Great Central Railway. Another trip to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway followed in September 2010. On the 28th to 30th May 2011 BRC's Beattie substituted for her B & WR sister which had failed with a leaking tubesheet, at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway's Gala.

In May 2012 BRC's Beattie appeared at Quainton as her long lost sister No. 30586. No 30586 had a somewhat different appearance to her surviving sisters, with larger square wheel splashers. In March 2013 Beattie travelled to the Battlefield Line (Market Bosworth Railway) near Leicester for a weeks hire for a Gala weekend. She joined the Battlefield lines home fleet and the NRM's LSWR T9 Greyhound from Bodmin.

Beattie visited the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway for their 19 - 21 April 2014 gala, and the Epping Ongar Railway for their steam gala on 6th - 8th June 2014, returning to Quainton on the 17th June.

During 2016 No. 30585 was joined at Quainton again by her sister No. 30587 for a Beattie Bash on the 29th / 30th May. At the end of the 2016 season both Beatties met again at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway's Autumn Steam Gala and Real Ale Festival on the 10th and 11th September, after which the current boiler certificate of Quainton's No. 30585 expired. With Defiant returning to Tyseley, Beattie took-up temporary residence in Rewley Road in May 2017.

Beattie at Bodmin in September 2016

Ben Jackson - Beattie at Bodmin in September 2016

Beattie in Quainton's Down Yard

Louisa Richards - Beattie in Quainton's Down Yard

In 1974, the centenary of Beattie's building, the Quainton Railway Society published a short publication called "The Centenary of the Beattie Well Tank at Quainton". This publication, long out of print, is now available via the link below.

And finally......

The Beattie has featured on a series of stamps from the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, featuring railway locomotives. The Beattie featured in the fourth series railway locomotive stamps issued May 17, 1985.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Beattie Stamp

Beattie in action 29th August 1971

Unknown (QRS Collection) - Beattie in action 29th August 1971

Preparing the Beattie for her Centenary - Mike Hanscomb - Quainton News No. 18 - December 1973
The Cover Photograph - Quainton News No. 20 - Summer 1974
The Centenary of the Beattie Well Tank at Quainton, Quainton Railway Society, 1974
Preparing the Beattie for her Centenary - Part 2 - Frank Boait - Quainton News No. 27 - Spring 1976
The Beattie Back - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976
Beattie the Early Days - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007
Visiting locomotive gallery - Quainton News No. 101 - April 2009

Builder :- Beyer Peacock Date Built :- 1874 Origin :- LSWR
Number :- LSWR 314
SR 0314
Alternate Numbers :- BR 30585 Name :- -
Wheel Arrangement :- 2-4-0WT Tractive Effort :- 11, 053 lb Boiler Pressure :- 160 psi
Cylinder Dimensions :- 16½" x 20" Weight :- 37t 16c Driving Wheel Dia. :- 5' 7"
Owner :- QRS Status :- Awaiting 10 year Overhaul Location :- Rewley Road
Accession Number :- W/0001 Arrival Date :- LRPS 1964 / QRS 1969 Power Classification :- SR - Not Classified
BR - 0P

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 10 December 2018