Until the late 1950s British Railways had cut up the majority of condemned locomotives at its own
workshops. However, during the 1960s the Beeching Report, closure of branch lines, loss of traffic,
and the rapid change over to diesel and electric traction, left the workshops unable to cope and
thousands of redundant steam engines were offered to rail-connected private scrap merchants.
One of the many such companies to get in on the act was the Central Wagon Co., Ince, Wigan, which
began cutting up during late 1958.
Our image of 0-6-0 tank engine 47549 at Ince was taken by P Eckersley on 30 January 1965. Built for
the LMS by the Hunslet Engine Co., Leeds, the loco entered traffic during December 1927 carrying
the number 16632. Renumbered 7549 by the LMS during 1934 and 47549 by BR.
During March 1963, 47549 was reallocated to Horwich Locomotive Works for use on shunting duties.
Just how long 47549 was employed as a shunter is unclear as the valve on the top of the dome casing
indicates the engine had been used as a stationary boiler. 47549 was withdrawn during August 1964.
By early October 47549 had been moved to Bolton engine shed where ‘CENTRAL WAGON
COMPANY INCE’ was painted on both side tanks. By 18 October, the 47549 was at Ince, but due to
the shear number of engines awaiting scrapping, she did not face the cutter’s torch until April 1965.
The image of Gorton-based 2-6-4 passenger tank engine 42309 was taken at Manchester London
Road during October/November 1963. The engine’s stay at Gorton was brief as after just a few weeks
she was transferred from Bangor to Gorton, she was reallocated to Carnforth.
Designed for the LMS by Sir Henry Fowler, 125 of these useful engines were built between 1927 and 1934. However, by the time of 42309’s move to Carnforth, many of the class had already been
withdrawn from service. After less than a year Carnforth, the engine was withdrawn at the beginning
of October 1964. Unlike 47549, the scrapmen were soon at work. 42309 is known to have been at
Ince by 1 January 1965 and was being cut up by the end of the month.