Page under construction...

Slough Estates No.3 –A Potted History

Slough Estates No.3 was the first all-new locomotive to be bought for use on the Slough Trading Estate railway. Built in 1924, it remained in service until 1973, when the estate railway closed. The two surviving locomotives were moved to preserved railways: No.3 to the Mid Hants Railway; and near-identical sister locomotive No.5 to the Embsay Steam Railway in Yorkshire. No.5 was restored to working order and used for many years, but is currently out-of-use, awaiting a major overhaul. No.3 had a more turbulent time...

At the Mid Hants Railway, after a couple of years, No.3 was dismantled for restoration, but found herself at the back of the queue for rebuilding. [...time passed...] The SWRS were granted custodianship of No.3 and rescued her remains, moving the frames and components to Slough, while the boiler was sent to Billingshurst for major work. Another ten years passed as SWRS members steadily progressed the locomotive's restoration. An enforced move to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in Wiltshire, and, for the first time, a covered workshop, saw the restoration completed and No.3 returned to steam in 2000.

No.3 was then the main operating steam locomotive at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway (S&CR) until taken out of service in January 2009, following problems found at her annual boiler inspection. Over the summer No.3 was given her ten-yearly overhaul at Statfold Barn near Tamworth and returned to steam in December 2009 hauling the S&CR's Santa Special services.

In November 2011 No.3 was relocated to the Middleton Railway in Leeds on long-term loan. This line is close to the site of the Railway Foundry where No.3 was built in 1924. No.3 also closely resembles the last steam loco to work over the railway in NCB days in 1958. It is thus appropriate that No.3 should have 'returned home' to Leeds.

Since moving north, No.3 has again become a favourite with loco crews, and may be seen regularly hauling passenger trains on steaming weekends at the Middleton Railway.

Slough Estates No.3 – News


Details to follow...

24th November 2009

No.3 returned to Blunsdon on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.

11th November 2009

The locomotive overhaul is complete and the painting and lining out are finished. All being well No.3 will be steamed on Saturday 14th for an official handover, returning to Swindon on Monday.

27th October 2009

No 3 at Statfold Barn, restoration nearly complete No 3 at Statfold Barn, restoration nearly complete

No 3 at Statfold Barn, restoration nearly complete

No.3 moved under its own steam today although only for a short distance. There are one or two small faults found, one being that the safety valves were not lifting as they should but this is not regarded as a problem and can easily be rectified. The new lubricators have been fitted are now working properly. There is still a small problem with a small steam leak from the regulator, again, can be repaired. There is also a small steam leak from the old clack valve.

The painters have been booked to start painting on the 3rd November and this will take around four days. Certain Society members will then go and inspect the locomotive before its return to Swindon.

25th October 2009

Having passed the hydraulic test (in August), the next hurdle for the boiler to overcome was a steam test, out of the frames. This test was passed by the boiler inspector, some weeks ago, so it was possible to re-assemble the locomotive. No.3 was steamed with the boiler in the frames on 16th October, and after some adjustments to the regulator all appears to be well. The painter was also on site to see the loco prior to lining out. As can be seen from the photos, No.3 has already been received several coats of paint.

The estimated arrival back at Swindon is mid November but this may yet slip as the date has been put back twice already. Hopefully No.3's return home will not be delayed further as she will be needed for hauling the S&CR Santa Special trains.

John Appleton - Posted 25/10/09

September 2009

No.3 on a low-loader, leaving Blunsdon bound for Statfold Barn, Tamworth. (Morning of Thursday 23 April 2009)

No.3 leaving Blunsdon
for Statfold Barn

Boiler: With the boiler lifted from the frames, and the front tubeplate and tubes removed, a thorough inspection was carried out and in general all was found to be in excellent condition. The palm stays which were thought missing were in fact present, but had not been connected to the firebox. This has now been done, along with the fabrication of a new washout housing. The regulator has been completely dismantled and overhauled, and this will hopefully cure the problem of the rather stiff regulator lever. All parts have been re-assembled, and the boiler passed its hydraulic test out of the frames in late August.

Chassis: Inspection of the springs have revealed that several leaves were broken and they will be rebuilt using parts from the spare sent with the engine. The broken spring hanger has been removed and a new one made and fitted. Whilst cleaning the cylinder block, a hole was discovered on top -- below where the smokebox fits -- and as this is on the low-pressure side it has been plugged and a plate welded onto the casting. The slide bars have been re-aligned and all other moving parts will be examined and repaired or adjusted where necessary. The frames have been steam-cleaned and the first layers of undercoat applied.

John Appleton - Posted 23/10/09

23rd April 2009

No.3 left Blunsdon bound for Statfold Barn, Tamworth, today, on a low loader (see picture).

8th March 2009

No.3 assessment inspection, 08 Mar 09 by (L to R) Geoff Spink, Graham Lee, Peter Todd and Jim Ballantyne

Inspection of No.3
(Hayes Knoll, 08 Mar 09)

No.3 was visited today at Swindon by Graham Lee from Statfold Barn and he was quite impressed with our loco. The engine was pulled out over the inspection pit and he had a very detailed examination both inside the cab, outside and underneath. He is able to take take the loco right away subject to our agreeing a price obviously and this we wait for.

4th March 2009

Slough Estates No.3:

Our locomotive, a 1924-built Hudswell-Clarke 0-6-0ST, was made ready for its annual boiler inspection by Allianz, who visited Blunsdon on 28th January. Unfortunately the locomotive was declared a failure due to the boiler tubes being pitted and wasted around the smokebox and firebox ends. One option open to us was simply to re-tube and return it to service, but with only another nine months left on its boiler certificate it was agreed that this was a false economy and we have decided to take the locomotive out of service early for a complete overhaul.

Slough Estates Ltd No.3 on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway

Slough Estates Ltd No.3 at
Swindon & Cricklade Railway

Several possible locations to do this work have been approached. The current preference appears to be with Mr G Lee at Statfold Barn in Staffordshire who can turn the work around in a reasonable space of time and return the loco to revenue-earning service. A preliminary inspection of the engine took place on Saturday 7th March when Graham Lee visited the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. No.3 was pulled out over the inspection pit and Mr Lee took a very detailed examination both inside the cab, outside and underneath. He can accept the loco immediately, subject to a price being agreed, after which we can prepare the loco for its move and this we hope will be done on the same low-loader which is due at Swindon with Manchester Ship Canal No.70 from the Avon Valley Railway.

The missing clack valve has now been cast and machined, and is back with the Society - along with the new steam fountain casting - and these will be added to the locomotive during its overhaul. The work to be carried out will be quite expensive and any donations towards this will be gratefully accepted by the Society.

The 7.25" ("narrow gauge") railway has now been sold and the money raised will be used towards the overhaul of No.3. The railway was sold to a scrap metal merchant (!) who luckily will not scrap it but he is due to retire in the next year or two and it will be going to his home in France.

John Appleton - Posted 06/03/09 (amended 20/03/09)

Website: A completely new SWRS website is in preparation (by a proper web designer!), and will hopefully come on-line in the near future. In the mean-time, the existing pages will be undergoing occasional changes to include new information, styling, etc.

Peter Jewell - Posted 06/03/09

February 2009

Website: The SWRS website is now in the hands of a new 'webmaster', and is gradually going through a metamorphosis (that means 'change' :o) ) into something more up-to-date. Please bear with us as he gets to grips with XML, FTP, and other TLAs...

If you have suggestions for new features for the website, please contact the Webmaster at

Peter Jewell - Posted 08/02/09



July 2007

First of all may I apologise for a lack of updates recently. Time restraints and then my computer crashing prevented me from doing a lot with the website recently. However quite a lot has been going on recently. Triangle magazine issue no. 73 is now out with all the usual news and features and this is the first issue of the new editor, Ian White. If you are not a member, this can be purchased for £1 on a Friday night.

Our Engine, Slough Estates No. 3 has been out of service recently while the clack valve was taken off for a pattern to be made. This was for Slough Estates No. 5 which the clack valve on our engine is from, but No. 5's owners wanted it back. Our engine is now however back in service.

Posted 07/07/07

Back to top