1638

U Class 1638 (31638)
©Locoyard Images
Current Condition: Awaiting Overhaul. Requires boiler work, including work on the firebox and reprofiled tyres.

Built: 1931
Wheel Arragement: 2-6-0

Numbers Carried: A638, 1638, 31638
Cylinders: 2
Length: 57ft 6in
Boiler Pressure: 200psi


One of two U-class locomotives on the Bluebell Railway, both coming via Barry scrapyard, this one was privately purchased and donated to the Bluebell, who have loaned it to the Maunsell Society. Having lost its tender whilst at Barry, a new one has been built, starting from the remains of a snowplough which in turn had been created using a Schools class locomotive tender as its base. The loco steamed for the first time in preservation in February 2006.

Built in 1931 at Ashford, she initially worked from Redhill, but was reallocated in 1933 to Guildford, where she worked on the North Downs line to Redhill and Tonbridge. She then had a brief stay at Bournemouth shed following an overhaul in 1936, but was moved to Reading in 1937. Here she stayed for 6 years, before being moved to Exmouth Junction in 1943. However in 1946, 1638 was surplus to requirements so was put into storage at Eastleigh, not being re-steamed until 1947 and being returned to Exmouth Junction. In 1949 she was moved to Stewarts Lane. She then moved 8 times; Faversham, Hither Green, Redhill, Brighton, Eastleigh, Redhill (again) and finally settling in Fratton in 1953. Here she stayed until Fratton shed closed in 1959, when she move to Guildford. She stayed at Guildford until withdrawl in 1964.