FR No. 20 – The Oldest Working Steam Locomotive In Britain

FR No. 20 - The Oldest Working Steam Locomotive In Britain

Furness Railway No. 20

Since being displaced from its original base at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway The Furness Railway Trust has established a new base at the Ribble line.

The Furness Railway Trust’s magnificent 1863-vintage Furness Railway 0-4-0 No. 20 will be running on the Ribble Steam Railway early in 2012. The fully restored No.20 is Britain’s oldest working standard-gauge locomotive. Repainted in the dashing Indian red of the Furness Railway, and with its distinctive tall chimney, the engine is a star of the local scene and a magnet for railway enthusiasts.

Built in Manchester in 1863, this engine originally worked on the Carnforth to Whitehaven line. However, the burgeoning demands of industry soon called for bigger, more powerful freight locomotives, and No. 20 spent the next 90 years shunting in a Barrow steelworks before being retired in 1960 to a local children’s playground. Here it quietly rusted away until it was acquired by the Furness Railway Trust.

The city’s council has approved plans to extend the Ribble Rail shed to allow it to fit new locomotives and wagons from the Furness Railway Trust. A lot of the equipment is quite old and the new building will ensure it remains safe from vandalism and under cover.

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