At the time of going to press, 76079 is the newest member of the 00 scale locoyard fleet of model locomotives. The real thing has featured on the website before (click here for more) and the Bachmann model has also been reviewed (click here to read the review). Today, we look at the history of the prototype…
76079 was one of 45 members of it’s class to be built at Horwich Works with the remainder being built at Derby (45) and Doncaster (25). Although designed at Doncaster, an ex-LNER works, the class had it’s roots firmly set in an LMS design by Ivatt – the 4MT 2-6-0. 76079 was one of the last members of the class to be built and entered service in 1957.
76079 was allocated to Sutton Oak where it was used for fast freight services. One such regular service was delivering sand to Pilkingtons Glass. As was common for locomotives in BR times, 76079 was also used elsewhere and following overhaul at Eastleigh in 1964; 76079 was used on passenger services in the southern region from London Waterloo. 17 other members of the class were specifically allocated to the Southern Region and all were fiotted with larger BR1B tenders. The larger tender was needed due to the lack of water troughs, however there is much evidence that shows 4MT 2-6-0’s with BR2/BR2A tenders also being used in the south. After it’s spell in the Southern region, 76079 was used for freight services once more, this time in North Wales. The type’s smaller wheels made them ideal freight locomotives. 76079’s life was cut short by the withdrawal of all steam from British Railways and 76079 was withdrawn in 1967 after a few months working the Wigan Springs Branch.
Happily after withdrawal; 76079 was sent to the Woodham Bros scrapyard in Barry, where like many others she sat rusting, but was not cut-up. Derek Foster purchased 76079 in 1974 and moved the locomotive to Steamport, Southport for restoration. Restoration was completed at a private site in Merseyside and completed in 1990 when it was moved to and entered traffic at the East Lancashire Railway. In early 1993 76079 was moved to the Llangollen Railway until 1998 and named after a local landmark (Castell Dinas Bran) although the name proved to be a very short-lived as it was then named Trevor T. Jones after the East Lancashire Railway’s chairman later in 1993! It has since lost it’s name.
In 1998 Duncan Bray bought the engine and moved it to the Churnet Railway, but it was soon sold on to Ian Riley and moved back to the East Lancashire Railway. Whilst owned by Ian Riley, 76079 was used on the mainline and soon gained an excellent reputation, earning a nickname the “Pocket Rocket”. In 2009; 76079 was sold to it’s present owner; the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where it is now based. 76079 is currently undergoing overhaul.
I hope you enjoyed finding out the history of this small but powerful locomotive. Don’t forget the history of many other locomotive prototypes of the locoyard model fleet can be found by clicking on the “Prototype Info” links on the Loco Models page (click here for more). Thanks for reading 🙂