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53808, SDJR formally No. 88, at the end of platform 2, Minehead Station on the West Somerset Railway, being turned on the 1960s, extended to 66ft long GWR railway turntable which was rescued from Pwllheli in North Wales.
“SDJR 7F 2-8-0, No. 88 was built in 1925 at the Darlington locomotive works of Robert Stephenson & Co. and is one of only two that survive from the original 11 constructed. It now carries its BR number, 53808. It arrived at Woodham Brothers yard in 1964 and moved to the S&DRT base at the then Radstock depot. Restored from Barry scrapyard condition between 1970 and 1987 (mostly at Radstock and Minehead), the locomotive was in regular service with the West Somerset Railway until 2019. The locomotive moved to the Watercress Line on long-term hire in August 2020.
When built it had a larger diameter boiler but this was replaced in 1953 as part of a general repair. At this time the boiler was found to be unfit for further use but the rest of the locomotive was considered to still have a few years of useful life left. The boiler currently fitted to 53808 came from Midland compound 41092.
The 2-8-0 spent the whole of its life based at one shed, Bath (Green Park). It mainly worked local goods trains between Bath and Evercreech Junction, which involved a stiff climb over the Mendip Hills in both directions, although in the post-war period it was also used to haul some of the many Summer Saturday holiday trains to and from the North, working between Bath and Bournemouth.”
Source : Water Cress Line. Accessed on 24th May 2023