LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 4871
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44871 in the loop opposite Preston station.
4871 is an LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 locomotive, originally numbered 4871 by the LMS, it had 40000 added to its number under British Railways after nationalisation in 1948. 44871 was one of the last locomotives to be withdrawn from service, surviving until 1968, the last year of steam on British Railways. She was also one of four locomotives chosen (three being members of her class) to take part in the famous Fifteen Guinea Special on Sun 11 August 1968, 44871 was in-charge of the Carlisle Citadel to Manchester Victoria leg of the tour which went south down the Settle and Carlisle Line. On this leg of the tour she double headed with 44781, 44871 acted as the pilot engine with 44781 being the train engine. 44871 is one of only three from that train to survive, the others being 45110 & 70013 Oliver Cromwell.
|Longsight||9A||1 August 1948|
|Crewe North||5A||6 October 1951|
|Holyhead||7C||26 January 1952|
|Crewe North||5A||14 June 1952|
|Stoke||5D||12 July 1952|
|Crewe North||5A||3 October 1953|
|Stoke||5D||31 October 1953|
|Crewe South||5B||22 March 1958|
|Stoke||5D||18 June 1960|
|Stockport Edgeley||9B||1 December 1962|
|Trafford Park||9E||22 June 1963|
|Stockport Edgeley||9B||6 November 1965|
|Bolton||9K||11 May 1968|
|Carnforth||10A||6 July 1968|
44871 was purchased directly from British Railways service for preservation so never had to be restored from scrapyard condition unlike other preserved locomotives which ended up being sent to Barry Island. The majority of her class including 44871 were purchased directly from BR service for preservation with only six being purchased from Barry Island and then required restoration to run again.
Following withdrawal from BR service 44871 remained at Carnforth which would later become Steamtown museum and was purchased off BR for preservation. Once the ban on operating steam locomotives over the national network was lifted in 1972 44871 was used to operate trains over the national network to places like York, at some point in the 70s/80s she was given the name Sovereign. 44871 Was also a popular engine in Scotland working trains along the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig (this route she is still used on to this day working West Coast Railways "Jacobite trains" for most of the year, alongside sister 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier & 62005.
Following years of storage alongside the death of her owner, in 2006 44871 was purchased by Ian Riley and was taken to Bury for an overhaul to mainline standards. She returned to steam in 2009 and later undertook light and loaded test runs on the mainline, alongside use on WCR's "Jacobite" trains she even worked the final season of WCR's "Cambrian" trains in the summer of 2010 along the Cambrian Line from Machynlleth to Pwllheli (the trains on Mon, Wed & Fri ran to Pwllheli with the trains on Tue & Thu running to Porthmadog). Presently it isn't possible to run steam down the Cambrian line due to the new ERTMS system that's in place and currently isn't compatible with steam engines.
44871 is based at the East Lancashire Railway alongside fellow Ian Riley owned sibling no 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier and like 5407 she is mainline certified and is also a regular hauling West Coast Railways Jacobite along the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig and back.
She very recently returned to service in August 2017 following the completion of another heavy overhaul which has once again been done to mainline standards.
44871 Running around her train at Machynlleth in Jul 2010.