West Somerset Railway

SOMERSET & DORSET JOINT RAILWAY 7F CLASS 2-8-0 53808

The first major locomotive overhaul to be completed by the WSR back in 1987 after much preliminary work carried out at Radstock and Washford by its owners the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust. It ran just under 50,000 miles over the WSR after this before a further major overhaul at the end of the 20th century which entailed almost complete reconstruction of the boiler. Original Number 88 now 53808 is one of two surviving members of an original class of eleven designed for working heavy freight trains over the Mendip Hills although they were also used on holidays trains between Bath and Bournemouth.

The engine was built by Robert Stephenson and Sons in 1925 and originally carried a non-standard 5 feet 3 inch diameter boiler. This was removed during an overhaul at Derby in the 1950’s and was replaced by a standard one from withdrawn "Midland Compound” 41097. The loco was withdrawn from British Railways service in 1963 as 53808 and spent time in the scrapyard at Barry before being purchased by the SDRT as part of the abortive "Radstock Prokect” in the late 1960’s.