Sharp Stewart 0-4-0ST No 19
|Type||DHR B Class|
|Home Railway||Beeches Lt. Rly.|
|Original Railway||Darjeeling Himalayan Rly.|
|Built by||Sharp Stewart & Co.|
DHR 19B was built in 1889 by Sharp Stewart & Co. (Builder's number 3518) for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, as part of their B Class. Originally numbered 19, it became 778 under the all-India number scheme. It was withdrawn from service, overhauled at Tindharia works, and sold to a private owner in the USA, before being acquired by the museum in Heston on his death. Severely damaged in a fire which destroyed much of the building in which it was kept, it was returned to service before being declared 'non-core collection' and put up for sale.
Acquired by Adrian Shooter for his private 2' gauge Beeches Light Railway in Oxfordshire which was then approaching completion and is based in many parts on the DHR, 19B was restored at Tyseley with a Sharp Stewart pattern tender being added and it entered service on the BLR in 2004 with two Boston Lodge-built DHR-pattern coaches. It has subsequently been joined by the Boston Lodge-built Parlour Car "Carrabasset" based on the preserved example from the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes line.
19B retains her original wrought iron boiler of 1889. Apart from the tender, modifications for the BLR include the addition of both vacuum and two-line air braking, air sanding equipment, a turbo-generator set (matching the current DHR specification, the original headlights fitted to the class being Wells oil-burning flare lamps), a higher cab roof, FR-style 'chopper' couplings and mechanical lubrication.
Visiting the F&WHR
19B has visited the F&WHR several times:
Restored No. 19 visited the FR in 2005 for the FR50 events together with its two newly built replica carriages. These were constructed, under contract, at Boston Lodge. During the event 19B worked mainly between Porthmdaog and Tan-y-bwlch, although the loco also worked a photo charter to Blaenau Ffestiniog during its visit.
No. 19B and its two carriages returned to the F&WHR in 2011 in early September. This time the focus of its operation was on the WHR and the 2011 Superpower Event. It was also hoped to complete a journey over the full 40 miles of combined system during this visit.
No. 19B returned for another visit in 2016, this time in the company of Adrian Shooter's replica Sandy River parlour car Carrabasset. The loco was used to give footplate rides at Harbour Station over the Easter weekend before seeing use on the WHR portion of The Snowdonian, a number of special trains and vintage services over the May bank holiday weekend.
On the Spiral at Dduallt, June 2005