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LSWR 0298 Class/Beattie 2-4-0WT (No 30587)

Visitors of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway can see and ride one of only two surviving LSWR 0298 Class steam locomotives or Beattie 2-4-0WTs in Britain. The heritage railway is a base to No 30587, a loco from the mentioned class that was produced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR). Also known as the ‘Standard Well Tanks’, these locomotives were inspired by the earlier ‘Nile’ locos but featured a number of innovations and upgrades.

Manufactured between 1863 and 1875, a total of 85 Beattie 2-4-0WTs were produced. They operated as passenger locomotives on the LSWR network, most notably in London suburbs but were later also serving in rural areas of South West England. In the 1960s, steam locomotives were withdrawn and replaced by electrical and diesel locos. And the LSWR Beatties were no exception. When finally withdrawn in 1962, some ‘retired’ with nearly 90 years of service.

About No 30587

Just like other locos from the 0298 Class, No 30587 was built according to the design of Joseph Hamilton Beattie. As mentioned earlier, the design was influenced greatly by the so-called ‘Nile’ class of locomotives but the Beattie 2-4-0WT came with a series of highly innovative features and solutions that made it one of the most efficient locos in Britain. As a result, some remained in service to the very end of the ‘Steam Era’ including No 30587. Originally numbered 298, the loco was renumbered as 3298 in 1933 and later as 30587 - when the Southern Railway was nationalised (the LSWR merged with the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to form Southern Railway in 1923).

In 1962, No 30587 was withdrawn but unlike the majority of its sister locos, it wasn’t sent to a scrapyard. Instead, the National Railway Museum chose it for preservation. It changed hands and bases multiple times until finally being acquired by the Flour Mill Workshops in 2001. One year later, it was brought to the Bodmin heritage railway where it has been operating ever since with the exception of a brief period between 2012 and 2013 when it underwent an overhaul.

Joseph Hamilton Beattie (1808-1871), the Designer of the LSWR 0298 Class

The LSWR 0298 Class locomotives were designed by Joseph Hamilton Beattie (1808-1871), a locomotive engineer at the London and South Western Railway (LSWR), in cooperation with Charles Frederick Beyer (1813-1876) from the Gorton, Manchester-based Beyer-Peacock company. His son, William George Beattie followed his footsteps and replaced him as locomotive engineer at the LSWR in 1871. However, he wasn’t as successful as his father and was compelled to leave his post as early as 1878.