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A. No. 5

  • Builder: Kitson & Company

  • Built in: 1883

  • Works Number: 2509

  • Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0T

  • Worked for: Consett Iron Company, National Coal Board

  • Current Status: Static Exhibit/Awaiting Overhaul

A.No.5 is the unique survivor of a class of 19 engines, built in batches from 1872 to 1941, for the Consett Iron Company. 

 

The Consett Iron Company operated an extensive railway system serving the ironworks, collieries, and coking works between Consett and the Tyne River at Swalwell. Following re-organisation of their locomotives in the 1870s, it was decided a new class was needed.

 

Robert Stephenson’s patented ‘long-boiler’ design was chosen for their new ‘A’ Class as it improved efficiency without making the engines too long. This was perfect for Consett Iron Company as it allowed the engines to navigate the tight curves of the route whilst also being able to move heavier loads.

 

A.No.5 was built in 1883 by Kitson & Company of Leeds with improvements such as larger cylinders and wheels, a reduced wheelbase and pannier style water tanks (although it is in fact a side tank), which was believed to improve stability when running at speed.

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  • A.No.5 moved around the Consett Iron Company railway system a lot during its working life. In 1947, ownership passed to the National Coal Board when the company’s pits were nationalised and in 1949 the locomotive gained a new number: No.41. By 1964 only two of the ‘A’ Class survived and it was decided to combine both engines into one. No41 (A.No.5) was now a mixture of three different engines and was semi-retired as a standby. In 1968, it was purchased for preservation, spending time in storage at Derwenthaugh and Tanfield Railway, before being sold to Tyne & Wear Museums.

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  • Extensive restoration work began in order to return the engine to its original condition. A.No.5 returned to steam as the flagship locomotive of the North Tyneside Steam Railway in the late 1980’s. Up until 2006 the locomotive was a regular running until it was retired again before later returning to steam again in 2014. It ran until 2018 before being withdrawn from service and placed on static display, pending overhaul.

A brown engine with dark steam billowing out and the name A Number 5 written on it  in gold.
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