Quayside Locomotive “Gradwell”


This series of photographs appeared in the Dec. 2011 issue of “Steam  Days” railway magazine and show the locomotive “Gradwell” around Stockton quayside in the mid 1960s. “Gradwell” was a 100hp vertical boiler geared steam locomotive built in 1947 by Sentinel (works number 9377). Previous owners include The Whittingham Hospital Railway, who bought it from the Bolton Gas Works at the beginning of 1956. The hospital line closed at the end of June 1957 and the locomotive moved on to Shildon before ending up in Stockton.

One photograph shows the train trundling along the quayside on its way from Corporation Quay to the BR exchange sidings adjacent to St Johns Crossing on Bridge Road. The well-maintained building at the end of Finkle Street, partly visible above the end of the train, contrasts with the general air of dereliction of the in the left background and the untended river bank area in the foreground. The building with its remaining wall cut diagonally is all that remains of the Custom House Tavern, which was the final stop of the horse-drawn coaches for early passengers on the Stockton & Darlington Railway.

Photographs and details courtesy of Peter H Rigg.

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