No.376 ‘Norwegian’

No.376 was built by the Swedish firm of Nydquist och Holm AB at their Trollhattan works (works number 1163) . No.376 was the penultimate member of a series of 70 2-6-0 moguls built for a number of Norwegian branch lines. The final eight, all built at Trollhattan, entered service in 1919 and became the 21c class.

No.376 is 47ft 4in long with a height of 12ft 11 1/2in. It has two outside cylinders, each 17in x 24in. The superheated boiler has a working pressure of 170psi and is mounted above 4ft 8 ½” driving wheels. The engine has a nominal tractive effort of 18,000lbs. Mounted on top of the firebox is a steam driven generator which provided power for 27 electric lights fitted around the locomotive to aid in maintenance and preparation.

Ordered on the 17th August 1918 the early history of the locomotive is a little unclear. Some records show that the engine was ordered and delivered to the Kongsvingar line, however recent discoveries show that the engine was probably delivered to the Meraker line in central Norway, entering service on the 30th July 1919. This line ran inland from Trondheim on the coast to Ostersund in Sweden passing through a town named Hell. This has led to some Kent and East Sussex Railway footplate crews affectionately telling visitors that it is ‘the engine from Hell!’

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No.376 finished its service live on snow plough duties at Grong, some 60 miles North of Trondheim before official withdrawal from Dombaas shed on the 22nd June 1971. Negotiations between David Barham and the NSB started almost immediately and in September of that year the engine moved under its own power to Oslo. In Oslo the engine was loaded onto a low loader and shipped to Felixstowe for onward travel by road to Rolvenden.

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‘Norwegian’ after arrival on the K&ESR before receiving its name. (Tom Featherstone)

The engine was returned to traffic and ran until 1977 when the engine required a significant overhaul. The engine was stored pending overhaul and eventually its ownership was transferred to the Tenterden Railway Company. However the overhaul was not forthcoming as the railways finances were already committed to extending the line and building volunteer amenities.

Norwegian at Tenterden
No.376 at Tenterden Town awaiting restoration after purchase by the Norwegian Locomotive Trust. (Ian Legg)

In 1984 the Norwegian Locomotive Trust was formed with the aims of purchasing and restoring No.376 and keeping it in operation on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.  With the locomotive duly purchased the restoration started continuing for nearly ten years until the 5th of March 1995 when the engine returned to traffic when it was commissioned by the Norwegian Ambassador (and Patron of the Trust) Tom Vraalsen.

Norwegian Overhaul
No.376 undergoing overhaul at Rolvenden. (Adrian Clark-Monks)

Over the nine year restoration the engine received a number of modifications including a rocking grate and hopper ashpan and a completely new cab and tender body with a total of £38000 being spent on the engine.

Since then the engine has run thousands of miles in revenue earning service on normal passenger trains, Wealden Pullman dining trains and Railway Experience Courses. The engine has undergone further mechanical work and overhauls to keep it in operational condition carried out by the K&ESR with support from the Norwegian Locomotive Trust.

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Hauling the Wealden Pullman – Phil Edwards

The engine is currently in operational condition. To find out when the locomotive is rostered to operate please visit HERE.

Although the locomotive is currently in operation the Trust are planning for the engines next overhaul. You can help support the engines future by becoming a member of the 376 club. To find out more click HERE.

The Norwegian Locomotive Trust would like to thank Knut Grønlund for his help in preparing these pages.
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