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Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No. 699 Swanscombe

Swanscombe in steam October 1977 in the Down Yard

Robert Frise - Swanscombe in steam October 1977 in the Down Yard

Swanscombe May 2015 Steam Gala

Robert Frise - Swanscombe May 2015 Steam Gala

The oldest surviving Barclay locomotive in the United Kingdom, Swanscombe was delivered to the Northfleet Coal and Ballast Co., Kent, in 1891. It joined an earlier Barclay and an old Henry Hughes saddle tank, all three eventually being transferred to new quarries and wharves at West Thurrock in Essex. These had been opened in 1912-13, and in 1921 became the property of the Thurrock Chalk and Whiting Company, a subsidiary of Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers, which is now part of the Blue Circle Group.

With the increasing loads dealt with on the railway, Swanscombe was unsuitable for the heavier work which involved running from the chalk quarry to a quay on the Thames, heavily graded all the way. The engines latter years were therefore confined to shunting "Presflo" wagons at the wharves and not used on trips to the firm's chalk quarry. Swanscombe received a new boiler in 1929, and a new firebox in 1941.

Swanscombe was purchased by a QRS member in 1965, and initially moved in February 1966 to the LRPS store at Skimpot Lane, Luton. The locomotive was then moved to Quainton on 18th April 1969, and later sold to another QRS member. It was restored and was steamed in 1975 for the BBC TV Play School programme. After a number of years out of service awaiting heavy maintenance, a change of owner lead to major work started in 1999, with the locomotive back into service during 2002.

Swanscombe being delived to Skimpot Lane, Luton in 1966

Unknown (TSC Collection) - Swanscombe being delivered to Skimpot Lane, Luton in 1966

More recently Swanscombe suffered from a failure early in the 2009 season, and there is some concern with some water leaks on the boiler. The necessary repairs have been started, with some work due to be completed at Quainton and the boiler work being sub-contracted out. An internal steam pipe in the boiler has been replaced, and the reassembly started. Swanscombe returned to steam during the Spring 2013.

Swanscombe returned to steam in May 2013 in the blue livery it has carried since its return to service in 2002. She was painted in July 2013 into a pseudo-Metropolitan Railway livery to allow Swanscombe to play the part of Brill No. 1, as part of the August London Transport 150 celebrations. During the celebrations Swanscombe ran with MSLR 3rd No. 1076, LSWR Ventilated Van No. 5025 and the Tube Wagon No. 801 repainted in Metropolitan Railway livery.

Swanscombe Returns To Service - Quainton News No. 24 - Summer 1975

Swanscombe in October 2006 in the Down Yard

Robert Frise - Swanscombe in October 2006 in the Down Yard

12th July 1952 Swanscombe at Thurrock Chalk and Whiting Co Ltd (previously published in Quainton News)

John Meredith - 12th July 1952 Swanscombe at Thurrock Chalk and Whiting Co Ltd (previously published in Quainton News)

Builder :- Andrew Barclay Date Built :- 1891 Works No. :- 699
Running No. :- n/a Name :- Swanscombe Wheel Arrangement :- 0-4-0ST
Tractive Effort :- 8, 343 lb Boiler Pressure :- 160 psi Cylinder Dimensions :- 11" x 18"
Weight :- 22t 0c Driving Wheel Dia. :- 3' 0" Owner :- QRS Member
Status :- Operational Location :- Down Yard Shed Accession Number :- N/A
Arrival Date :- 1969

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 09 January 2019