Two ugly steam locomotives have arrived at Epping and, after restoration will be hauling passengers along the heritage railway.
The two engines are saddle tank locomotives, often referred to as “uglies” because of their short saddle tanks and large fireboxes, giving a somewhat ungainly appearance. The Epping Ongar Railway has gained numbers 56 and 63, built by the Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn (RSH) locomotive builder based in North East England.
Both engines originally worked at the Corby steelworks.
Number 56 (works number 7667) was the first locomotive in an initial batch of seven locomotives ordered in 1950 and worked at the steelworks until 1969 when replaced by diesel traction. The engine ended up at the North Woolwich railway museum on static display in 1984, then went to the Great Central Railway (North) in Nottingham where it had been ever since.
Number 63 (works number 7761) was part of a second batch of two locomotives and was delivered to the steelworks in 1954, becoming the eighth of this type of locomotive at the site. It, too, was withdrawn in 1969 when replaced by diesel traction.
The locomotive was initially preserved at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway alongside two more of its sister locomotives. In 2011 the locomotive was moved to the Great Central Railway (North) in Nottingham.
They were in use at the Great Central Railway until their boiler certificates expired.
Both engines arrived at Epping earlier this month, and are awaiting an overhaul before they can start passenger services.