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No. 69

  • Builder: Hunslet Engine Company

  • Built in: 1953

  • Works Number: 3785

  • Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0ST

  • Worked for: National Coal Board

  • Current Status: Undergoing Overhaul


South Hetton No.69 is an Austerity Class locomotive built by Hunslet of Leeds in 1953.


Together with a fleet of similar Austerity locomotives, and some much older veteran locos, No.69 managed the coal traffic across the South Hetton, Hawthorn, Murton and Seaham Colliery System. The locomotive returned to Hunslets works in 1963 where she received a full overhaul and the fitting of the Hunslet Patent Underfeed Stoker which allowed it to burn a lower grade of coal. A fibreglass chimney cowl was fitted to indicate this however the system was removed shortly after return, although No.69 retained its chimney cowl.


No.69 continued work until the early 1970’s when it became a standby for the collieries new diesel locomotives, although South Hetton was the last place to see National Coal Board steam in the North East with the railway completely switching to diesel in 1976.


In 1977, No.69 was preserved and moved to the Yorkshire Dales Railway (Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway) where it was put to work almost immediately hauling the lines early passenger trains. In 1985 the decision was taken to withdraw the engine from traffic for some mechanical work.


After a couple of decades resting in the siding alongside the running line at Embsay, with some deconstructive work taking place in the meantime, the engine made its most recent journey to the North Tyneside Steam Railway, under the care of a new owner, in August 2020. No.69 is now undergoing overhaul.

A black rusty engine sits in the station.
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