Back in Black

Back in Black

Great Western’s oldest locomotive, 08483, at Paddington having bought in the empty stock for The Night Riviera to Penzance. It’s usually a main line locomotive assigned to this duty, so Great Western were presumably a loco short, needing the Old Oak Common depot shunter to fill in with a rare trip to the big station.

08483 was built in the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway works at Horwich in Lancashire way back in 1958, and started work on what was then an almost entirely steam-operated railway. Even the design is a legacy of the age of steam, with a layout resembling the small steam tank locomotives it was built to replace. Well over a thousand of them were built, even after more than half a century there are still a handful left in service, of which 08483 is one.

Even the freshly-applied livery is from the steam age; it’s British Railways black with the old “cat on a mangle” logo, the stanard livery for diesel locomotives prior to the 1955 modernisation plan.

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2 Responses to Back in Black

  1. Maybe it’s the way the yellow and orange are so tastefully used to accent the rest of the black, but dangitall if that isn’t a gorgeous-looking piece of machinery.

  2. Michael says:

    Nice photo!