No 6046 returns to the rails following repairs

USATC S160 Class No. 6046
No 6046 makes official return to Churnet Valley Railway
Published Mon, 2016-03-14 10:31

The Churnet Valley Railway's ‘S160’ N. 6046 has officially returned to the rails following repairs.

Author/Source: 

Editorial

Photography: 

USATC S160 Class No. 6046 © Geof Sheppard

The locomotive completed a series of trips at the weekend, recreating scenes from when the class was first introduced.

‘Operation Overhaul’ saw No 6046 haul recreated military goods train from the 1940s for a closed-door photography event on 12 March organised by Lancashire-based 'Lure of Steam Photography.

Military vehicles were transported on board wagons that were restored on the CVR – as was done in the preparation for D-Day back in 1944.

The loco was in action again with the Military Goods Train on 13 March, as the formation operated for public demonstrations as part of the CVR’s annual Volunteer Open Day.

No 6046 has been out of service since 2014, after suffering a catastrophic failure whilst on hire to the Nene Valley Railway that required a replacement cylinder block.

The locomotive was sent to Tyseley Locomotive works in Birmingham, where the cylinder block was replaced under the guidance of Bob Meanley and his trusted engineering team. The replacement cylinder block required fully overhauling first, after which the major components on No 6046 were dismantled to allow its broken block to be removed and the replacement to be fitted.

No 6046 was built as works No 70280 by the Baldwin Locomotive Co in Philadelphia, USA. The locomotive was exported straight to France in 1945 to help with the war effort. Once their use with the French SNCF came to an end many ‘S160s’ were scrapped but No 6046 found her way to Hungary.

The ‘S160s’ were known as the ‘411’ class by the Hungarian State Railways, and No 6046 became No 411.144. She spent the majority of her working life on industrial lines, before being withdrawn.

No 6046 was formally preserved in the Hungarian National Collection, but was sent for scrap due to an administrative error. Fortunately, the loco was saved from the cutters’ torch after a UK Preservationist learnt of her plight, being purchased by Martin Haines, a pilot, who brought her to the UK with the intention of restoring her. She arrived into the UK complete and was sent to Tyseley where she was positioned around the turntable and restoration began.

Eventually though she was sold to Greg Wilson who moved her kit of parts to the Churnet Valley Railway, who then restarted her restoration in 2006. On 29 June 2012, No 6046 was steamed and moved under own power for the first ever time on UK metals.

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