BR 9F no.92203 'Black Prince'

92203 outside the engine shed
92203 outside the engine shed
Credit: R.P.Wiesham, 1987
Company: BR
Type: 9F
Built by: BR Swindon
Status: Left
Other numbers:
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92203 was one of 251 class 2-10-0s built to the design of R.A.Riddles as the standard "heavy freight" locomotive for British Railways. Bringing together all the advantages of modern design, the 9F's proved to be one of the most successful of the standard engines and quite capable of running very heavy freight trains at moderate speeds and express passenger trains at speeds in excess of 80 mph.92203 was built at Swindon Works in January 1959 and was working the heavy iron ore trains out of Liverpool docks to Shotton Steel Works when it was taken out of service after hauling the last steam hauled ore train in November 1967

Purchased by David Sheperd straight out of service, 92203 was steamed from Crewe to Longmoor Camp in Hampshire where it was named "BLACK PRINCE". In May 1970 it moved to Liss to form part of the Longmoor Steam Railway and took part in a BBC TV documentary "THE MAN WHO LOVES GIANTS" telling the David Sheperd story. It also appeared in the film of Sir Winston Churchill's early life "YOUNG WINSTON " In 1971 it moved to Eastleigh Diesel Depot until on 17th November 1973 it steamed from Eastleigh to Westbury and then on the 18th to a new home at Cranmore. While it was at Eastleigh, 92203 ran a tour on the main line. On May 19th 1973 it hauled the "Royal Giant's" tour from Oxford to Hereford and on to Worcester. Then came the highlight of 1975 on 20th April, 92203 ran from Westbury to Eastleigh and return.

Withdrawn from service on 5th November 1978, 92203 had a boiler overhaul at Husbands Shipyard, Marchwood near Southampton and was returned in first class condition in September 1979. It hauled the heaviest freight train in Britain in September 1982 of 2198 tonnes at Foster Yeoman's Tor Works. In 1985 it visited the Westbury open day.

After overhaul it has visited the East Lancs Railway, the Mid Hants Railway, The Great Central Railway, the Llangollen Railway and in 1998 it revisited the Foster Yeoman's Tor Works with 92212 from the Great Central Railway.

In November 1998 it visited the NEC at Birmingham and then went on extended loan to the Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway at Toddington until the end of its boiler ticket in 2002. This is to earn money for the next overhaul, which will cost in excess of ?60,000.

After overhaul work started at Toddington, 92203 was moved to Flour Mills workshop in the Forest of Dean where the overhaul will be completed.