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LOUGH CLASS CLASS 0-6-4T NO.27 "LOUGH ERNE"
(Not originally numbered, added 1959)
Builder: Beyer Peacock, Manchester, 1949, works number 7242.
Withdrawn: NIR, 1969.
Companies: SL&NCR, NIR, RPSI.
Preservation Career: 1969-1972.
Current Status: In store, Whitehead.
No.27 "Lough Erne" on display as a static exhibit at Whitehead on 7th July 1973 as part of an open day. (C.P.Friel)
"Lough Erne" and her sister "Lough Melvin" were the last steam locomotives built for an Irish 5'3"
gauge railway. They were built by Beyer Peacock in 1949 for the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway. The 'Lough' class once
again used the unusual 0-6-4T configuration of the previous 'Sir Henry' class - "Sir Henry", "Enniskillen" and "Lough Gill", built in 1904, 1905
and 1917 respectively. The 'Lough' class looked somewhat different but apart from cosmetics there were few significant design changes; the
most notable being cylinders of 1" greater diameter and the substitution of a screw reverse for the 'Sir Henry' class' lever reverse. Both
engines were painted black with red buffer beams. The brass nameplates were also painted black, with the raised lettering and borders picked out
No.27, still a UTA engine, is seen here on Saturday 18th September 1967, hauling the Guinness engine from Carrickfergus goods shed, where it had been stored, before working it to our base at Whitehead. The more economical Guinness engine has now taken the shunting and 'train rides' roles previously filled by "Lough Erne". Later that year the engine was transferred to the new company Northern Ireland Railways. (J.Lockett)
After acquisition by the RPSI, she carried out some shunting activities at Whitehead, until her
boiler expired in 1972, the last steaming being on 8th July that year. On 29th April 1972 she carried Lord Grey of Naunton, the then governor
of Northern Ireland, on the footplate during a visit to Whitehead (see Gallery).
No.27 is one of only two surviving items of SL&NCR rolling stock - the other being Railcar B at Downpatrick.
No.27 in store at Whitehead in 2006. (M.Walsh)
The locomotive presently awaits extensive restoration at Whitehead. How likely that is to happen is debatable as the locomotive is too small
to operate economically viable mainline railtours. On the other hand, it is too large to justify the massive cost of restoration to working order
simple to shunt and operate train rides at Whitehead. Perhaps the best that can be hoped for is a cosmetic restoration to allow display in the
future museum at Whitehead.
"Lough Erne", unusually out in the open for a shunt to take place in October 2009. (E.Friel)