Since 1967 when it was purchased from British Railway for £3,000, Standard 9F class 92203 has been owned by wildlife artist David Sheppard. Since then 92203 was named Black Prince and it has become quite a celebrity and even a record holder. In September 1982, 92203 hauled the heaviest train ever by a steam locomotive in Britain, starting an incredible 2,178 ton train at a Foster Yeoman quarry in Somerset.
Black Prince started it’s life in preservation at the former Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire, followed by a short stint in Eastleigh and then the East Somerset Railway until 1998. David was one of the founders of the East Somerset Railway and some of his paintings can be viewed in Cranmore Station signal box. Since then Black Prince has moved to a number of heritage railways, the most recent being the North Norfolk Railway, who will become the steam locomotive’s new owners. An interesting overview of the locomotive can be found at the webtrain website (click here.)
The railway has come to an agreement to purchase 92203 over the course of future steamings during the next nine years. There will be a handover event at the end of November to officially mark the occasion. The purchase of 92203 by the North Norfolk Railway will give the preserved line enough steam locomotives in its home fleet to be used during an entire season, something that will be very beneficial to them in the longer term.David Shepherd had purchased another locomotive from British Railways – 75029 Green Knight, that has since been sold to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. David also has had involvement with a number of steam locomotives in Africa and is president of the railway ramblers. As well as being a Wildlife Artist, David Shepherd also heads a Wildlife Foundation with the aim of funding projects to save critically endangered animals in Asia and Africa – for more information, go to the website www.davidshepherd.org
Please note that pictures used here were taken by and are copyright of locoyard blogger Jonathan Malton. Thanks for reading.