Asbestos (a really useful engine)
The flagship of Chasewater Railway, this 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive was built by Hawthorn & Leslie of Newcastle on Tyne, in 1909, and given a works No of 2780.
Originally supplied to Turner Brothers who named the loco Asbestos, to fit in with their line of work of producing asbestos sheeting, at their Trafford Road factory.
Modernisation in the 1960’s made the loco redundant from the Manchester works, so the Company decided to donate it to its present home at Chasewater Heritage Railway in May 1968.
Since arriving at the Brownhills site, the loco has travelled many miles on passenger duties.
On gala weekends the loco takes its turn on freight and coal trains.
Photo by chasewaterstuff.
Todays coat of Green supersedes a previous colour of red.
photo by chasewaterstuff.
It was also painted Blue for a short time.
During the busy years travelling to & fro between Brownhills West & Chasetown Church St, two special duties were carried out.
On November 4th 2004, the Duke of Gloucester visited Chasewater Railway for a tour of the premises and to see the new station building at Brownhills West.
This complex was built with compensation received from the M6 Toll road which crosses the site of the old station.
The Duke was introduced by the Chairman of Chasewater railway, Mr David Bathurst, to members of the Railways board.
While Asbestos stood in the run round loop, proudly displaying the Royal headlamp code, waiting permission to couple up for the journey to Chasewater Heaths and Church st.
The Duke unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit, before enjoying a footplate ride, as Asbestos pulled the Royal train along the two miles around the lake.
On 23rd March 2007 Labour Member of Parliament Harriet Harman,travelled from Chasewater Heaths to Brownhills West, on a train hauled by this very useful engine, when she presented an Education Programme to John Tisdale the Railways Education Officer.
On January 1st 2012, this hard-working Century plus locomotive, was removed from active duty for its ten-year boiler inspection and overhaul, plus renovation of the running gear and bearings.
Now standing Majestically in the Heritage Centre, the pride of the Colliery Line awaits the team of dedicated volunteer engineers to return it to pristine condition.
This work will cost approximately £30,000, and a fund has ben set up to raise the necessary capital to carry out this Major project. Any donations to this fund will be gratefully received. Please ask for details.