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Is there room for another GWR New Build idea?

It’s a good idea, every so often, to set aside a little time to feel hugely grateful for the fabulous iconic collection of GWR locomotives that are still with us.  It is indeed a remarkable achievement and we should remember that each and every restoration or new build project absorbs  money in breathtaking quantities, vast amounts of people’s spare time and tenacious and sustained gritty determination to bring the dream to reality.

An Aberdare for the 21st Century?

It is easy, though, just because so much has been achieved, to allow your  ideas and fantasies to get out of control and assume that all sorts of lost GWR locos can be reborn at the drop of  a hat and there is a continual stream of ideas about whose favourite should steam again.

On the other hand, so many  projects that only a few years ago would have been considered unrealistic and ridiculous are now very real indeed:  We will soon have a Grange, a County, a Saint and a 47xx – something that would have been unimaginable when all this started with the preservation of 1466 by a group of school boys 1960s.

What I am working up to is that, even surrounded by such riches, we may allow ourselves to dream further dreams.  A Dean Single is mentioned frequently enough at Didcot for it to get beyond the chin stroking stage soon but what else would we desire to build and, much more to the point, what bits are there in the dusty back corners of Didcot and on our heritage railways that could make it happen.  Does a Dean Goods boiler make a new Dean Goods?  Er, maybe, if a new group of young lads can make it happen.  Will a County 4-4-0, with or without a  tender make it into steam?

And now, a Facebook friend, Chris Adams has come up with another one – an Aberdare. Not the prettiest loco ever built by the GWR but, as he points out, there are no inside framed 2-6-0s in existence and that, in itself, makes it worth having a decent think about.  Chris says that the wheels could come off 2861, the Barry wreck, the boiler from 4115, the outside cranks from an 08 shunter (maybe, dunno ??) so the new build element would be the frames, extended axles, inside cylinders  etc.

I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to judge whether this is fantasy or not but I think it is at least worth airing and I hope people will kick the idea around for a bit and see what happens.

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