Steam Locomotive "O2" class 0-4-4T No. W24 Calbourne was constructed to the design of William Adams (1823-1904), a Londoner who was Locomotive Superintendent of the LSWR (London and South Western Railway) from 1878-95. She was completed in 1891 at the company's Nine Elms locomotive works, originally as W34 Newport, and first came to the Isle of Wight in 1925 after having been acquired by the Southern Railway that was then operating there:

The O2 class proved ideal for the Island's railways and a total of 23 were eventually shipped to the Island. By the end of 1960 they were the only class of steam engine operating on the Island's rail network. ["Steam Locomotive '0T'"]

When the Steam Railway heritage line was beginning, she was the only one left out of the 23 which had been brought to the island, and, in fact, the only survivor out of sixty of her class. She was also the first to be acquired by the line, so holds a special place in the Isle of Wight Steam Railway's affections. So much so that, according to one of the signboards at Havenstreet, she is the Steam Railway's flagship locomotive. [Click on all the images to enlarge them.]

The locomotive outside the "Train Story" Discovery Centre.

According to Adams's obituary in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 158,

Under his superintendence the Nine Elms Works were rebuilt and enlarged, and considerable improvements were effected in the rolling stock. Modern locomotive practice is indebted to Mr. Adams for many improvements introduced or effected by him during the course of a long and useful career. [qtd. in ""William Adams"]

During the 1990s Calbourne was restored to her early 1930s condition, and served the line until a major overhaul began in August 2002, when she was given (for example) early British Railways livery. More recently her livery has been that of a later date.

Top photograph by Peter Skuse, uploaded to Wikipedia here, and available with attribution on the Creative Commons license. Many thanks for this. Remaining photographs, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer or source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


"Steam Locomotive '0T' class 0-4-4T Calbourne No. W24" Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Web. 11 August 2017.

"William Adams." Grace's Guide. Web. 11 August 2017.

Created 11 August 2017