To cater for the anticipated ballast traffic, the
railway ordered two Mountain-type locomotives
from Davey Paxman, to Henry Greenly's design.
The first of these, Hercules, arrived at New
Romney on 20th April 1927.
The RH&DR then became the only railway in
Britain operating such locomotives, which are
similar to their Pacific cousins, but are slightly
longer and have smaller driving wheels.
Hercules hauled the inaugural train from Hythe
on the opening day of the line - July 16th 1927.
However, the ballast traffic did not reach the
levels expected and the 4-8-2's were often de-
railed by the points and curves in use on the
railway during the early years.
Her condition was close to derelict at this time,
but in 1936 renewed ballast traffic saw to it that
Hercules was rebuilt for use on this service.
So, by the time that the railway was
commandeered by the Army she was fit to find
fame as the engine used for the armoured train
during World War Two.
Improvements to the track after the war meant
that Hercules could return to normal duties
and she was sent to Ashford for re-building,
returning with a new large-capacity tender
and a coat of red paint.
Following a 1978 overhaul, Hercules appeared
sporting a maroon livery similar to that of the
former Metropolitan Railway and with Northern
Chief's original Greenly designed tender, giving
her the twin-appearance of her sister, Samson.
In 1986, she became the fourth Romney engine
to steam on the rails of the Ravenglass and
She now runs In Midland Railway red, with
a large capacity tender.