Samson was delivered to the railway on 20th July 1927, the identical twin of Hercules. These two locomotives were designed — by Henry Greenly — and ordered to cope with the anticipated ballast traffic that the line hoped to transport. She fell victim to it’s failure to materialise and her own inability to negotiate the points and crossings in use on the railway at the time.
Between the years 1931 and 1946 she remained un-used. Rusting away in the yard, she was raided for spares.
After the war, Samson was sent to Hove for a re-build and then in 1961 she received a superheated boiler.
In 1973, she was involved in a fatal accident with a stolen car at a level crossing at Dymchurch and sent to Leeds for repair, returning the following year. This accident led to the installation of flashing warning lights being installed at road crossings on the railway.
From 1955, Samson appeared in a lined black livery, but she received a red coat of paint whilst she was used at the 1984 Garden Festival in Liverpool. This livery remained until a 1989 repaint, when she emerged in a dark blue similar to that of the former Great Eastern Region. Her whistle is an American Crosby Chime.
At her overhaul during 1994-1995 she emerged retaining the handsome dark-blue livery but equipped with the smoke deflectors she wore briefly after the 1974 overhaul. In 2018 she emerged from overhaul minus the smoke deflectors and in a different, equally striking, blue finish (details below).
In the early part of May 1996, Samson became the fifth Romney loco to travel up to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway for a few days work on that fine line.
Along with Hercules, Samson runs with a high capacity tender.
Freelance outline two-cylinder 4-8-2 Mountain class locomotive.
Designed by Henry Greenly.
Built by Davey Paxman & Co., (16042) in 1927
Overall length: 25′
Weight in working order: 8 ton 5cwt
Driving wheel diameter: 1′ 7.5″
Bogie and trailing wheel diameter: 1′
Cylinders: 5.25″ bore x 8.5″ stroke
Current Livery: Caledonian Blue