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Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST No. 2138 Swordfish

Swordfish is a 14" Andrew Barclay standard 0-6-0ST locomotive, currently located on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.

Some confusion arises as to the derivation of its name. The Quainton stockbook, "A Century on Rails" (1985), states that the name of this locomotive was derived from that of the wartime aircraft. Subsequent research by the locomotives current owner instead suggests that it took its name from a submarine Swordfish, a Class 4 boat (S Class), that was launched in November 1931 as fleet number N61, and lost in action in 1940 off Ushant. As an early casualty in the War, it was assumed Swordfish and sister engine Salmon, were named after submarines in a spirit of patriotism.

One of three engines built in 1941, this example in December to the specification of Stanton Ironworks at a cost of £3290. Originally on loan to Stanton from the Ministry of Supply, it was finally purchased by them in 1947. On 1st January 1950 ownership passed to Stewarts and Lloyd, when they brought the quarries from Stanton ironworks.

When new, Swordfish was sent to Glendon North Quarry and remained there until April 1957, when it was loaned to Glendon East Quarry for about seven months. It then returned to Glendon North and was put into storage. December 1961 saw Swordfish back at Glendon East, but during 1962 it was withdrawn from service altogether, having being replaced by a diesel.

Between October 1955 and March 1956 Swordfish received a major overhaul at the quarry, acquiring the boiler from a similar locomotive, No. 1457 of 1914. It also lost its name at this time, instead gaining the Stewarts and Lloyd's fleet number 84. In August 1962 the locomotive was sold to Goodman Brothers of New Bradwell who intended to export it. The deal fell through, and so the engine remained in Goodman's yard until 15th August 1980 when it was delivered to Quainton, having being purchased by some Quainton members.

During its stay in the scrap yard a great deal of damage was caused to the engine and many parts were lost. However, rebuilding was still considered possible, even if it would be an expensive and long drawn out process.

Swordfish originally left Quainton for the Rutland Railway Museum, before moving to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. Here extensive work was carried out on the brake linkages and wheel sets. One of the major hold-ups was that one of the connecting rods was missing, presumably from its time in the scrap merchants. Swordfish re-entered operation at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in July 2016 after a ten-year restoration program.

Swordfish weighs 26½ tons empty (33 tons in working order) and was delivered from New Bradwell by Brackmill's Haulage of Northampton on a low loader. If has a 10ft. 3in. wheelbase, divided unequally into 4 ft. 9 in. between rear and centre coupled wheels and 5 ft. 6 in. to the leading axle. The boiler heating surface is 599 sq. ft., grate area 9½ sq. ft., water capacity 720 gals., coal 1½ tons and overall length 26 ft. 9 in.

Current Location - Swindon & Cricklade Railway, Swindon

Swordfish - Our First Barclay Six-coupled Tank - Quainton News No. 42 Autumn / Winter 1980/1
Official Photograph - Quainton News No. 42 Autumn / Winter 1980/1

Builder :- Andrew Barclay Date Built :- 1941 Works No. :- 2138
Running No. :- 84 Name :- Swordfish Wheel Arrangement :- 0-6-0ST
Tractive Effort :- 14, 303 lb Boiler Pressure :- 160 psi Cylinder Dimensions :- 14" x 22"
Weight :- 33t 0c Driving Wheel Dia. :- 3' 5"

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 01 October 2016