Swanage Railway News Gallery Page 275
BEATTIE WELL TANK No 30587 IN SERVICE ON 19th-21st MAY 2005 AS PART OF THE
SWANAGE RAILWAY 120TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
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Photo Report from Andrew P.M. Wright - dated 25th May 2005.
Photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright unless otherwise noted
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(Background information on Beattie Well Tank locomotives is provided at the foot of this page)
Beattie Well Tank No 30587 leaves Corfe Castle for Norden on 21st May 2005
Andrew P.M. Wright has provided these photos of Beattie Well tank No 30587
in service on the Swanage Railway following the re-enactment of the opening on 20th May as part of the Railway's
120th birthday celebration. (Background information on Beattie Well Tank locomotives is provided at the foot of this page)
Volunteer Corfe Castle booking clerk Annie Avey-Hebditch of Wimborne
Andrew's photos also show volunteer Corfe Castle booking clerk Annie Avey-Hebditch of Wimborne, at the ticket window ready to
help the thousands of visitors to the Swanage Railway over the 120th Birthday weekend.
Background notes on Beattie Well Tank locomotives and No 30587:Joseph Beattie designed his standard well tank steam locomotive back in 1862 to work on the London and South Western Railway's west London extension railway.
The locomotives were such good performers that a total of 85 Beattie well tanks were built with No. 30587 (LSWR number No. 298) being outshopped from Nine Elms in London during 1874.
The Beattie well tanks proved to be solid and reliable performers - working commuter and branch trains until the end of the 19th century.
It was the tender version of the Beattie well tank that hauled the first passenger train from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Wareham on Wednesday 20th May, 1885. That was after the Beattie was dragged by a team of horses to Corfe Castle - and thence to Swanage via the steep road to Kingston and then down to the Victorian resort via Langton Matravers.
The Beattie well tanks were replaced by the equally elegant Adams radial tanks (also performers on the Swanage branch on through trains from London) with the majority of the Beattie well tanks being withdrawn from traffic.
Thanks to their light weight and short wheelbase, three of the diminutive but powerful locomotives were kept and sent down to Cornwall to work the steep gradients and tight curves of the Bodmin and Wadebridge line.
No. 30587 arrived at Bodmin in 1895 and proved so successful that with its two sister engines it continued to work the Bodmin and Wenford line for a remarkable 67 years - including through two world wars.
The Beattie well tanks were finally replaced by the ex-GWR 13XX pannier tanks.
Historic No. 30587 forms part of the collection of the National Railway Museum in York and was restored to working order a few years ago after many years on show to the public.
No. 30587's short visit to the Swanage Railway was thanks to the kindness of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway as well as the National Railway Museum.
All photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright
Last Updated 14th Aug 2005
© Swanage Railway