A1X Class 0-6-0T No 32655
Class Introduced: 1872
Designer: Mr W Stroudley
Built: 1875 - Brighton Works, London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR)
Total Number Built: 50
Numbers Carried: 55, 655, B655, 2655 & 32655
British Railways (BR) Power Classification: 0P
Either side of the Great War, over a dozen 'Terriers' were sold out of service to various minor independent railways up and down the country - their light weight and continued reliability proving invaluable. A parallel dispersal took place in the early 1960s as these now famous locomotives were in demand with groups of railway enthusiasts, intent on resurrecting branch lines closed by British Railways (BR) - the fledgling Nuthatch Line Preservation Society (NLPS) was no different, especially given the history of the line.
By entirely good fortune, BR had a couple of examples surplus to requirements due to the former Isle of Wight 'Terriers' now monopolising the Hayling Island services. No 32655 was identified as a preferred candidate and following successful negotiation she soon entered Eastleigh Works for an intermediate overhaul (obtaining a copper-capped chimney from No 32670 in the process). With no mark of ownership, No 32655 arrived on the Nuthatch Line in May 1960 to a triumphant welcome. Such was the demand, she was soon in regular service following the grand reopening, now with Stepney proudly embellished on both tank sides.
At the year's turn, Mr Stroudley's renowned 'improved engine green' livery was applied - whilst historically inaccurate for the A1X Class, it was deemed a fitting tribute to the 'Brighton' locomotive.
Over the intervening years various other liveries have been applied to Stepney, though mostly recently BR lined black with the 'cycling lion' motif.