LMS Jubilee Class 5596 Bahamas
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|LMS 5596 Bahamas|
45596 Bahamas on the Settle-Carlisle Line in 2019
The locomotive was built as a standard Jubilee Class in 1934 by the North British Locomotive Company for the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). In May 1961, under the ownership of British Railways, Bahamas was the recipient of several experimental modifications aimed at improving the steam engine. In July 1966, Bahamas was withdrawn from traffic. A preservation society was founded and raised the money to purchase it from British Rail to prevent it from being scrapped. After repairs by the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds Bahamas was transported to Dinting Railway Museum, near Glossop, Derbyshire.
After British Rail's ban on steam locomotives ended, Bahamas was permitted to run on the national rail network. In October 1972, Bahamas hauled its first excursion special, proving there was public demand. A year later, it was removed from service when its boiler certificate expired. In 1988, it returned to steam after overhaul. It was withdrawn from mainline use after its ticket expired. Between 1997 and 2013, Bahamas alternated between public displays and storage. Another overhaul began during 2013 and the locomotive returned to mainline operations in early 2019.
5596 was constructed in 1934 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow for the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). It was a standard Jubilee Class locomotive, designed by William Stanier, the chief mechanical engineer of the LMS. In June 1936, 5596 received the name Bahamas after the islands in the Atlantic Ocean which were part of the British Empire.
Following the nationalisation of Britain's railway companies, in January 1948, Bahamas, which had become the property of British Railways, was renumbered to 45596, and transferred to Edge Hill, Liverpool.
In May 1961, Bahamas was modified during a scheduled overhaul to participate in a trial being conducted with the aim of improving the performance and extending the service life of steam locomotives. Changes made included installing a double blastpipe and exhaust system which brought a 30 per cent increase in the boiler's steaming capacity and enabled the use of poorer quality coal. Before this, another Jubilee, 45722 Defence, had received similar design changes for testing in the late 1950s; the role of Bahamas was to provide an assessment on the day-to-day impact of such alterations.
On its return to traffic, Bahamas was based at Carlisle for a brief period, before being transferred to Stockport in July 1962. By 1962, enthusiasm had waned for the development of improved steam locomotives and trials were terminated by the end of the year. In July 1966, Bahamas was withdrawn from traffic; in its final months, it had been used to haul farewell excursions for enthusiasts. Following its withdrawal, the locomotive was stored while officials deliberated on the best means to dispose of it. For some time, it lingered on the scrap line while the manner of its disposal was considered.
Keen to save Bahamas, several members of the public came together to attempt to purchase it with the hope of using the locomotive to operate special excursion trains. British Rail showed a lack of enthusiasm when it was approached by the preservation society as the group encountered great difficulty in raising the funds. In early 1967, British Rail had agreed the sale of Bahamas to a scrap merchant in Hull. The society acquired enough money, largely due to the offer of a sympathetic businessman of a £3,000 loan to cover the purchase and high-level intervention within British Rail resulted in the sale to the Bahamas Locomotive Society.
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The shed locations of 45596 on particular dates.
|January 1935 (First shed)||Crewe, 5A|
|April 1947||Bristol Barrow Road, 22A|
|September 1947||Crewe, 5A|
|August 1948||Edge Hill, 8A|
|September 1950||Huddersfield, 25B|
|January 1957||Edge Hill, 8A|
|? 1961||Carlisle (Upperby), 12A|
|July 1962 (Last Shed)||Stockport, 9B|
|July 1966 – January 1967||Stored at Stockport|
|January 1967||Purchased for preservation|
Bahamas Locomotive Society
In 1967, Bahamas was purchased from British Railways for preservation by the Bahamas Locomotive Society. After purchase the engine was sent to the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds for repairs and was repainted in LMS Crimson lake livery. The society secured the lease of a section of track to Dinting railway station near Glossop in Derbyshire where it established the Dinting Railway Museum around a former Great Central steam shed. This was the engine's first operational base in its preservation years.
In the early years of preservation, British Rail did not allow access to the rail network because of a ban on steam locomotives. The ban was lifted in 1971 and Bahamas was one of several locomotives selected to run on the national railway network. The locomotive hauled an enthusiasts' special in October 1972. Public demand for such excursions was proved and more excursions were run by preservation groups. Bahamas was removed from service in 1973 due to the expiry of its boiler certificate.
The society began overhauling the locomotive and its boiler to return it to mainline-running condition. During this overhaul the livery was returned to the British Rail green scheme it had worn in regular service (this was authentic for its double chimney). The overhaul took until 1988. It returned to mainline excursion trips and occasional visits to other heritage railways.
In 1990, the Bahamas Locomotive Society relocated to Ingrow West railway station near Keighley in West Yorkshire. In 1994 the engine's mainline ticket expired, with the engine spending the next 3 years running on heritage railways until its 10 year boiler ticket expired at the end of 1997. For the better part of the following fifteen years, Bahamas spent much of its time being moved between storage and static display at locations such as the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway's museums at Ingrow and Oxenhope as well as the National Railway Museum in York.
Return to steam
In January 2011, an appeal, "Steam's Last Blast", was launched to raise funds for another overhaul to modern main line standards. Sufficient funds were raised from supporters and with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £775,800.
In July 2013, work commenced on a major boiler overhaul to mainline standard at Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham with the aim of returning it to traffic during 2017/2018. The engine made its first moves and appearance at the Tyseley at 50 open weekend in Sept 2018 and once work completed in January 2019 alongside its light and loaded test runs the locomotive returned to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in February prior to mainline operations starting the same month. 45596 worked "The Bahamas Renaissance" its first railtour for 25 years on 9 February 2019, the tour originated at Oxenhope on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and ran both ways over the Settle and Carlisle line via Ribblehead and Appleby to Carlisle. Owing to popularity a second trip was run the weekend after, this being over the same route and the same itinerary.
- Bickerdike, Graeme. "Holiday in the Bahamas." Rail Engineer, 14 June 2013.
- "LMS Jubilee Class 5596 Bahamas". jubilees.co.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
- "London Midland & Scottish Railway 5XP 'Jubilee' Class 4-6-0 No.45596 'Bahamas'". KWVR - Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- "Work in Progress." ingrowlocomuseum.com.
- "'Bahamas' Railtour to Carlisle". Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t19/t0209b.htm UK Steam timings for 45596's debut run
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