• Number: 61572 (formerly 1572 and 8572)
  • Class: Great Eastern Railway Class S69/London & North Eastern Railway Class B12
  • Designer: Stephen Holden
  • Builder: Beyer, Peacock and Company, Manchester
  • Built: 1928
  • Configuration: 4-6-0

Stephen (named after his designer) is a Holden B12 locomotive who lives at Copley Hill.


Stephen was built at the Beyer, Peacock, and Co. based in Manchester, who built a number of Garratts for exports all over the world including South Africa on August 24th, 1928. Not much is known about his career before the 1930s, when he was rebuilt by Sir Nigel Gresley along with the rest of his class. His first words were "It's good to have some time to let your wheels rest".

He was soon sent to work at London, where he met three LNER Pacifics: two A4s, Herring Gull and Gadwall; and an A3, Flying Scotsman. He worked alongside them for many years, but when the Second World War broke out, he was transferred with Herring Gull and Gadwall, who was now renamed "Sir Ralph Wedgwood", to York. In 1942, Sir Ralph Wedgewood I was destroyed in an air raid which destroyed York Station. Both Stephen and Herring Gull were devastated, but one day, in 1944, Herring Gull talked to Stephen for the first time, saying that he wanted to find a way to keep Sir Ralph's memory on. Stephen thought that this was very noble, so he introduced himself, and the two engine became good friends. On that same day, Herring Gull was given the opportunity to be renamed "Sir Ralph Wedgwood", and he accepted it.

When the Nationalisation Plan took place in 1948, Sir Ralph and Stephen were transferred to Copley Hill, in Leeds, where they met Allen, who was then unnamed, for the first time.

After this, Stephen became the engine who pulled regular goods trains and stopping passenger trains around the Copley Hill area, and soon proved himself to be a wise and helpful engine. However, in 1952, Stephen was involved in a terrible crash, which severely damaged him. However, thanks to the Foreman of Copley Hill, he was rebuilt, and given a new coat of paint.

When Scott, the A3 Pacific, accused Sir Ralph of being an impostor, Stephen revealed the truth about Sir Ralph's backstory, and managed to persuade Scott that Sir Ralph was the engine that he said he was.

Over the next few years, however, Stephen began to realise that the Modernisation Plan was already taking place, as he soon became the last working engine of his class left. The other engines didn't believe that it was happening at first, but when Stephen furiously shouted at them about it, they realised that it was true.

During that time, Stephen started visiting Norwich Thorpe shed more and more, until he was finally transferred near the end of 1959. Stephen was later withdrawn on September 20th, 1961, completing over 30 years of loyal service.

In 1964, Stephen was at Stratford, believing himself to be awaiting scrapping. However, with reassurance from Jerry, he learned that he would be a survivor, but would have to face the consequences of eternal life.

At some point in his preservation life, Stephen was placed on display at the National Railway Musuem (NRM), where he ended up meeting a young boy called Stanley, with whom he shared his stories about the LNER and Allen.


  • Harry (older brother, scrapped)
  • The Unnamed D16 (cousin, scrapped)




He has also been confirmed to appear in future books and episodes.


  • Stephen was named by Simon Martin's grandfather. The model originally used was quite old, which is the reason why Stephen is one of the oldest engines in the series.
  • Stephen, along with Sir Ralph has appeared in every episode in series, and they are currently the only engines to do so.
  • Stephen was once in BR Express Passenger Blue, albeit the real class and engine never carrying this livery.
  • According to Simon Martin, Stephen was originally going to be the narrator of The British Railway Series, and would be telling people the stories in the present day. This feature has been reinstated in the books.
  • Stephen carried the most liveries in the British Railway Stories. In real life he is tied with Scott with the most liveries.
  • Stephen has the highest votes for the British Railway Stories most favourite characters with a score of 57%.
  • Stephen is the only LNER Class B12/GER Class S69 in preservation.
  • In The Ghosts of Engines Past, it is revealed that Harry is related to Stephen.
  • Stephen is the only Class B 4-6-0 in preservation not to be designed by Edward Thompson.


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