‘Efficient’ was built at the Caledonia works of Andrew Barclay & Sons in Kilmarnock. It is a standard Barclay saddle tank with 14″ x 22″ cylinders and 3′ 5″ driving wheels. Painted in the Kilmarnock firms usual green lined livery and lettering, it spent it’s entire working life at McKechnie Brothers’ copper smelting works at Widnes. It shared the duties here with a smaller Barclay engine named ‘Economic’, which failed to live up to it’s name and was scrapped in 1955. There were also two 100h.p. Sentinels as well.

When no longer required at the copper works ‘Efficient’ was purchased by the Liverpool  Locomotive Preservation Group and moved to Seacombe in July 1969. From here, it worked the two Docker railtours in 1971 and 1972, double-headed with Avonside ‘Lucy’. ‘Efficient’ moved to Southport in July 1973, where she had the distinction of being the first steam locomotive to enter the newly formed museum. She was fitted with a new inner firebox in 1981, and was a regular performer at Steamport Southport until the late 1990’s when the site closed, eventually arriving at Preston on 27th July 1999. Efficient’s last public steaming was in April 2000 as she took part in the closing celebrations at Shelton Steelworks in Stoke. A firm favourite amongst the crews at the museum, investigation was carried out during the summer of 2005 to bring the loco back into service.

Unfortunately, due to the extent of the work required on the boiler, she will have to wait her turn. She is on view in the museum in a ‘as in industrial use’ condition.


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