LB&SCR A1X class 55 Stepney

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LB&SCR A1X Class 55 Stepney
55StepneyHorstedKeynes.JPG
Stepney at Horsted Keynes with sister engine 672 Fenchurch.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer William Stroudley
Builder Brighton works
Build date 1875
1912 (rebuilt)
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte 0-6-0T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Career
Operators LB&SCR,
Southern Railway
British Railways
Bluebell Railway
Class A1X
Power class BR: 0P

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway A1X Class number 55 Stepney is a preserved steam locomotive based at the Bluebell Railway in East and West Sussex, England. Stepney is well known as the first standard gauge engine to be based at the Bluebell Railway, arriving by rail on 17 May 1960. Stepney was featured in the Railway Series book Stepney The "Bluebell" Engine. He was also featured in the TV series of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. However, he was rescued by Rusty the Diesel in the TV series and he runs his own branch line running beside the Skarloey Railway. The junior (8 years old and under) membership scheme of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society is known as the Stepney Club.

Stepney re-entered service on the Bluebell in May 2010 after a fast track overhaul and was used on light duties until its main steam pipe failed in early 2014. Stepney currently wears Stroudley Golden Ochre. But previously wore the lined black livery that was carried during the first (1960) season on the Bluebell. On 14 January 2012, Stepney made an "only-morning" appearance in BR Lined Black with the "cycling lion" crest and his BR number, 32655, for a special photographic charter. He carried the same BR Lined Black Livery again on 17 April 2012 for another photographic charter, this time though with the later "ferret and dartboard" crest. He returned to "Bluebell Black" in time for his visit to the National Railway Museum's "Railfest" in the first week of June 2012. Stepney is now on static display at the Bluebell railway, awaiting new cylinders and work on the frames and boiler.

Stepney appears in the music video for Tracey Ullman's 'Move Over Darling' (1983).

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