A short history
No. 76077 was completed by British Railways at Horwich Works near Bolton and is one of several ‘Standard’ classes introduced after nationalisation of Britain’s railways, with – as the term ‘Standard’ suggests – the aim of standardising the range of locomotives and their components to suit most haulage purposes. It also enabled a large number of ageing locomotives acquired by British Railways to be replaced.
No. 76077 was delivered new to Sutton Oak depot at St. Helens and was based there until 1967 when it was moved to Wigan Springs Branch depot. It was mainly used for freight work but occasionally found itself on passenger workings too.
However, even as these fine Standard engines were being built, the railway ‘modernisation’ plan was being developed which led to rapid introduction of diesel and electric traction. That, along with the infamous Beeching Report, spelled the end of steam on the rapidly-diminishing national network. 76077 survived until December 1967 after just 11 years of service and it ended up at Barry Scrapyard in South Wales.
It was rescued from there by Chris Hinton who moved it to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway in 1987, but without its tender. The tender was acquired by the buyers of sister engine 76017, whose own tender had been sold to the steel industry for use as a billet carrier. However, there are plans to build a brand new tender for which some components have already been obtained. And, even if the engine is restored before a new tender can be built, it’s highly likely that a suitable one can be hired for a time.
We are looking for pictures of the relatively camera-shy 76077 in British Railways days as well as reports of sightings of the engine so that we can build a full history of the engine from the moment it emerged from Horwich Works in 1957.
If you can help, click this link and let us know!