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North British 0-6-0T No. 24564 Coventry No. 1

Coventry No. 1 in Down Yard

Robert Frise - Coventry No. 1 in Down Yard

Coventry No. 1 in Down Yard

Terence Dorrity - Coventry No. 1 seen at work at Newdigate Colliery looking very smart - Friday 9 April 1965

Coventry No. 1 was built by North British Loco to a Neilson Reid design at Hyde Park Works in 1939, and was part of an order for two identical locos, NBL Nos. 24563 and 24564, for Coltness Iron Co. Ltd. No. 24563 went to their Newmains works, Lanarkshire, and was used there until sold for scrap in 1963. No. 24564 was sent to a subsidiary company, Warwickshire Coal Co. Ltd., Coventry Colliery, and was in fact the last steam locomotive sold by NBL to an industrial user in the UK. Ownership passed to the National Coal Board in January 1947, Coventry Colliery becoming part of the No. 4 area of the West Midlands Division.

In 1962, having been replaced by an ex-BR(WR) pannier tank, Coventry No. 1 entered the NCB workshops at Ansley for a heavy overhaul, including fitting of a new boiler. Serving for a short time as a stationary boiler during the serve winter of 1962/63, it was eventually sent to Newdigate Colliery near Bedworth on 11 October 1963. At Newdigate the 0-6-0T proved very popular with loco crews due to its power and free-steaming abilities, but was confined to the colliery yard due to its flangeless centre driving wheels.

During 1965, Coventry No. 1 was transferred to Haunchwood Colliery, returning to Newdigate once more in June 1967. Due to the introduction of smokeless-zone restrictions and the arrival of diesel shunters at Newdigate, Coventry was little used and in December 1970 the loco was sold to the QRS. Movement to Quainton took place on 18 January 1971 and following minor attention it was used on passenger trains from October 1972.

Coventry No. 1 seen at work at Haunchwood Colliery - date uncertain

Unknown (TSC Collection) - Coventry No. 1 seen at work at Haunchwood Colliery - date uncertain

In recent years Coventry No. 1 has an alter ego as Thomas the Tank Engine® and has frequently traveled to other Railways in this guise.

During Winter 2008 / Spring 2009 Coventry No. 1 underwent an intermediate overhaul with repairs to the boiler, motion and running gear, as well as some bodywork repairs. This work has included:

  • Fitting of new springs
  • Crank pins re cut and profiled
  • New big end brasses
  • Replacement Cab Roof
  • 36 stays replaced in the fire box sides

Subsequently, Coventry No. 1 reached the end of its current 10 year boiler certificate, and has now joined the queue for her next overhaul.

The Coltness Tanks - W A C Smith - Quainton News No. 41 - Summer 1980
Terence Dorrity - West Midlands Industrial Steam in Colour: Part 2 - Irwell Press (15 July 2015)

Coventry No.1 in Up Yard - September 2017

Colin Ashman - Coventry No.1 in Up Yard - September 2017

Builder :- North British Date Built :- 1939 Works No. :- 24564
Running No. :- 1 Name :- Coventry No. 1 Wheel Arrangement :- 0-6-0T
Tractive Effort :- 23, 869lb Boiler Pressure :- 160 psi Cylinder Dimensions :- 18" x 26"
Weight :- 50t 0c Driving Wheel Dia. :- 4' 3" Owner :- QRS
Status :- Awaiting 10 Year Overhaul Location :- Up Yard Shed Accession Number :- W/0013
Arrival Date :- 1971

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 January 2019