Bodmin ‘Austerity’ returns to steam

Bagnall ‘Austerity’ Works No. 2766 has made its first ‘long-distance’ trips in preservation, having completed its first trial run on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.

Resplendent in WD khaki livery, newly restored ‘Austerity’ No. 75178 rests outside Bodmin General shed on October 14. JIMMY JAMES

Resplendent in WD khaki livery, newly restored ‘Austerity’ No. 75178 rests outside Bodmin General shed on October 14. JIMMY JAMES

Restored by the Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society – which also owns Port of Barr 0-4-0STs Alfred and Judy, and Devonport Dockyard 0-4-0ST No. 19 – the 0-6-0ST has been outshopped in its original guise as WD No. 75178.

Other than 100 yards up and down the yard at Bodmin General earlier in the year (see SR467), the trial run on October 14 was the locomotive’s first move under its own steam in over 22 years.

BWR Publicity Officer Jimmy James says: “Three miles were accomplished light engine in the yard and down the Boscarne branch towards Crabtree Lane. [CSLPS chairman] Phil Hawke was delighted with No. 75178's initial performance, except for the lubricator which couldn't be coaxed into full action.

“This will now have to be stripped down and re-assembled when the fault is found. Running-in trials will then resume.”

Although it had been hoped to enter traffic this summer, Mr James told Steam Railway that the ‘Austerity’ is now likely to enter service next year.

“Once the lubricator is fixed there will be plenty more running-in trials, leading up to a fully loaded test train, but not in time for any scheduled services. As for 2018 and the loco roster, it remains to be seen.”