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March GWR Loco News

Its the time of year when steamable locos have had their winter maintenance and are ready to go for the new season.  You can look at the current condition of Swindon-built locos, both steam and diesel, GWR and BR built here and below we review some of the recent news:

5967 Bickmarsh Hall, one of the nearly forgotten ‘Hall class’ not yet restored from Barry condition has been making some progress far away from its home territory at the Lamport and Northampton Railway. Latest news is that it has had a new drag box fabricated and fitted to the frames.

82045, the new build of the BR class 3 2-6-2Ts that were built at Swindon in 1954 is making good progress at Bridgnorth and it is hoped that it will be a rolling chassis within 3 years and pulling SVR trains by 2017.  Never the most popular locos with crews, it does fill a preservation ‘hole’ and I remember my Triang 00 gauge version with affection.  It will be interesting to see how it fares in the heritage context and we wish the build team good luck and success with the fund raising.

75029, the Swindon built Standard Class 4 previously owned by David Shepherd is now back in service at the North Yorkshire Moors unexpectedly early and hauled its first trains on 18 February.

On the mainline, it is the swansong of KE1, 6024 for the moment and it looks as if 6023 is getting ready to take its place on the mainline follwing its recent boil;er problems. the king is dead, long live the King.  Last chance to see 6024 will be at the West Somerset Gala during the last fortnight of March.

4936 Kinlet Hall is at the North Norfolk at the moment and starring at their gala at the moment.  Lots of us are looking forward to seeing it out on the mainline on the ‘Weymouths’ from Bristol this summer.

Talking of Halls, 7903 Foremarke Hall is now beginning its penultimate year with its boiler ticket and can be seen at the GWSR, as can 2807 which has had some work done and has received a repaint that includes ‘Great Western’ on the tender. It looks a lot better.

Lastly, the 2012 ‘Great Britain V’ programme run by the Railway Touring Company has released details of  the locomotives to be used on each stage.  On the GWR, 70013 Oliver Cromwell will bring the train into Bristol from Preston where it will be joined by frequent Bristol visitor 34067 Tangmere for a double headed run to Penzance and back.  From Bristol to Paddington, haulage will be by 4936 Kinlet Hall, double heading with another loco to be announced.

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