In 1990 and subsequently again in 2006, a group of enthusiasts had the opportunity to acquire a USA type 0-6-0 tank locomotive. This type of engine was used by the Southern Railway, mainly for shunting in Southampton Docks between the end of World War Two and the demise of steam in the 1960's.

 

14 (plus one for spare parts) were purchased by the Southern Railway from the United States Army Transportation Corps in 1946. The class was very successful, proving powerful, economical to operate and relatively easy to maintain. During and immediately after the war, up to 400 were deployed across Europe and many were to become part of the locomotive fleets of railways in France, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

The railway authorities in Yugoslavia were so impressed with the design that, over several years, many reproductions were manufactured in their locomotive workshops. These were almost identical in appearance to the older USA built engines, but included many improvements derived from operational experience. Both the old and new versions were known in Yugoslavia as the Class 62's.

 

In 1990 examples of the class were still active throughout Yugoslavia and so a decision was made to purchase one.

 

 

Built by Djuro Djakovic of Slavonski Brod in Croatia, a suitable locomotive was located at the Store Steelworks near Ljubljana (later Slovenia). No. 62-669 (now renamed as 30075) was built as recently as 1960 and was made redundant after only 25,000 miles in service.

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Slovenia - 1990. First from right - George Shields (Swanrail driver), Second from right - Glyn Thomas (Swanrail guard) , Third from right - Bill Trite. Others pictured; Steelworks employees.

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One of the only pictures taken of 62-669 in Store Steelworks

Following a thorough examination, finance was raised on behalf of what was to become "PROJECT 62", named after the class of engine and 62-669 was purchased. 62-669 was in a thoroughly sorry state. It was dismantled on site and then transported to the Swanage Railway in Dorset. The engine was redesigned to convert it to the British loading gauge, re-assembled and prepared for service.

After running for a couple of years, many more improvements were authorised and these were carried out in 1994-96, during a major overhaul lead by Ron Pocklington. To enhance the link with the old Southern Railway, the owners decided that 62-669 would adopt malachite green livery and take on the next vacant number 30075, after the Southern Region "USA" class series 30061 to 30074, of which today only 4 survive. (Below Pictures)

 

The locomotive suffered a major steam pipe failure in 1998 and was withdrawn from traffic.

30075 was dismantled at Swanage and moved by road to the East Somerset Railway in July 2002 and was returned to traffic at a Press Launch on the 7th of July 2004. 30075 was relocated to the Mid-Hants Railway in August 2009. The picture to the left here shows 30075 stopped just short of Ropley station in September 2010.

Following withdrawal due to leaks in the inner firebox, 30075 was eventually moved to Shillingstone Station in Dorset, the base of the Shillingstone Project - North Dorset Railway Trust (NDRT) for repairs in January 2016.

The locomotive is of ideal size and power for general service, Special Event use and Footplate Experience services on most UK Heritage Railways. 30075 has also visited the Bodmin & Wenford Railway in Cornwall, the Bristol Docks Railway and the Yeovil Junction Steam Gala, the Churnet Valley Railway and the Dartmoor Railway, whilst also appearing in many railway magazines. Once repaired, 30075 will be available for more guest visits to other Heritage Railways in the future.

30075 arrived at Shillingstone station in January 2016 - click here for the full history of this loco at Shillingstone

Arrival at Shillingstone Station - 2016

30075 on tour destinations

  • East Somerset Railway 8/7/97 to 21/9/97

  • Bristol Docks 24/9/97-28/9/97. https://youtu.be/2jrvUmnlpGk

  • Yeovil on 5 & 6/10/1997

  • Back to Swanage for the Santa Specials

  • Unfortunately, the locomotive suffered a major steam pipe failure in 1998 and was withdrawn from traffic.

  • Dismantled at Swanage and moved by road to the East Somerset Railway in July 2002 and was returned to traffic at a Press Launch on the 7th of July 2004. 

  • From Jul 04 - Jan 05 it was in steam for 59 days.

  • Mid Hants Railway from 3-5 Mar 06

  • East Somerset Railway Jul 07 to Jul 09 

  • Relocated to the Mid-Hants Railway in August 2009, and also visited Bodmin & Wenford Railway.

  • Churnet Valley Jan-Feb 2010 (Used 5 days). https://youtu.be/WmoYM8ohUA0

  • https://youtu.be/tArSSHU7Uh8

  • Dartmoor Railway Aug-Sep 2010 (used 13 days)

  • 30075 went from Mid Hants to Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre, Chesterfield on 9/2/12 and was at Barrow Hill until 2/12/2013.

  • 30075 went from Barrow Hill to Ruddington (Formerly known as Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre, The Great Central Railway - Nottingham)

  • 30075 went from Ruddington to Shillingstone on 20/1/16