Posts Tagged ‘Didcot Railway Centre’

Originally posted in July 2013

Was great to be back at Didcot Railway Centre to see 6023 King Edward II in steam.

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6023 was a king-class heavy express steam locomotive specifically designed for taking express trains over the steep gradients found on Great Western routes in south-west England. 6023 came into service in June 1930 and spent most which working life based at depots in the South West before transferring to Old Oak Common in London in August of 1956, where it worked on the London – Wolverhampton route. In September of 1960 it transferred to Canton depot in Cardiff and until its withdrawal in June 1962 working trains between London and Cardiff.

Most of the King class locos disappeared quickly after they were withdrawn from service. However, 6023 together with 6024 were kept to perform deadweight testing on bridges and subsequently sent to Woodhams in Barry, where, like many locomotives they were left to decay. In fact, 6023 stayed at Barry until 1982 when it was purchased and moved first to Brighton and then to Bristol for restoration. Unfortunately before this work could be completed the funds ran out in 1988. The locomotive was then purchased by the Great Western Society, and arrived at Didcot in March 1990, where restoration recommenced. The locomotive was finally first steamed in public at Didcot in April 2011.

Brilliant to see her in full steam, although I have to say I’m not a great fan of the blue livery, although I’m told this is authentic BR livery from the 1950s. Call me traditional but I’d much rather see her in GWR green or BR green or black. perhaps blue engines remind me too much of Thomas the Tank Engine (Not that I have anything against Thomas, you understand)

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5051 Drysllwyn Castle is an example of the GWR 4-6-0 Castle class, which was an updated version of their earlier star class and was designed by Collett from 1923. In all, 171 Castle class locomotives were built for the Great Western.

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5051 left Swindon Works in 1936, with its current name, but the following year it was renamed Earl Bathurst. it retained this name for the remainder of its active life. It was based at Swansea and worked trains from there to London and the Midlands. It was withdrawn in 1963 and sent to Woodham brothers at Barry, where it remained until 1970 when it was taken to Didcot. It was restored to mainline condition in 1980, and worked rail tours until its withdrawal in 2008.


video by 45064 (http://www.youtube.com/user/45064?feature=watch)

It is currently on static display at the great Western society in Didcot

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3650 is a representative of the class 57 shunting engine, which operated on the Great Western Railway. It was built at Swindon in 1939 and worked through to 1963 when it was sold to Stephenson Clarke Ltd to work on a colliery in South Wales. It was purchased from there by a member of the Great Western Society in 1969 and was transferred first to Hereford and then to Didcot. Restoration took nearly 20 years but it was finally returned to working order in 2008.

These small shunting engines were among the commonest on the railway. 863 class 57 engines were built in total and like the diesel class 08 shunter which I featured a few days ago they formed the invisible work horses which kept the railways running.

GWR King class 6023 King Edward II in steam at Didcot Railway Centre

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Originally posted in July 2013

Was great to be back at Didcot Railway Centre to see 6023 King Edward II in steam.

DSC01795

6023 was a king-class heavy express steam locomotive specifically designed for taking express trains over the steep gradients found on Great Western routes in south-west England. 6023 came into service in June 1930 and spent most which working life based at depots in the South West before transferring to Old Oak Common in London in August of 1956, where it worked on the London – Wolverhampton route. In September of 1960 it transferred to Canton depot in Cardiff and until its withdrawal in June 1962 working trains between London and Cardiff.

Most of the King class locos disappeared quickly after they were withdrawn from service. However, 6023 together with 6024 were kept to perform deadweight testing on bridges and subsequently sent to Woodhams in Barry, where, like many locomotives they were left to decay. In fact, 6023 stayed at Barry until 1982 when it was purchased and moved first to Brighton and then to Bristol for restoration. Unfortunately before this work could be completed the funds ran out in 1988. The locomotive was then purchased by the Great Western Society, and arrived at Didcot in March 1990, where restoration recommenced. The locomotive was finally first steamed in public at Didcot in April 2011.

Brilliant to see her in full steam, although I have to say I’m not a great fan of the blue livery, although I’m told this is authentic BR livery from the 1950s. Call me traditional but I’d much rather see her in GWR green or BR green or black. perhaps blue engines remind me too much of Thomas the Tank Engine (Not that I have anything against Thomas, you understand)

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A trip to Didcot in Oxfordshire for a steam day at the Great Western Railway Centre. The last time I was here was for the re-introduction into service of the magnificent ‘King class’ King Edward II, but today this locomotive was only on static display in the yard.

King Edward II

King Edward II

The working engine on the main line today was the 2-6-2T No 4144, a representative of the type of engines seen both pre and post WWII on GWR suburban lines.

4414 in steam on the main line

4414 in steam on the main line

The engine on the branch line was 0-6-0T pannier shunting engine.

3650 on the branch line at Burlescombe Station

3650 on the branch line at Burlescombe Station

In the yard Phantom was engaged in a series of shunting manoeuvres.

Phantom undertaking shunting manoeuvres in the yard

Phantom undertaking shunting manoeuvres in the yard

After this I spent sometime looking around the museum and the other displays that tell the history of Didcot and the GWR, which was very interesting. One photo which caught my attention was off a group of young train-spotters happily sitting on a platform edge dangling their legs over the edge. I could not imagine what would happen if someone did that today!

As I left the centre 4144 had joined King Edward II on the engine shed yard.

King Edward II and 4144 on the yard outside the Engine shed

King Edward II and 4144 on the yard outside the Engine shed

A very pleasant way to spend a few hours.

 

18000

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Trains
Tags: ,

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18000 was ordered by GWR in 1946, but by the time it was delivered GWR had become Western Region of British Rail. It was the prototype gas turbine-electric locomotive. GWR had opted for these rather than a diesel locomotive as at the time diesel traction was unable to match the power provided by the mainline ‘King’ class steam locomotives. 18000 and 18100 were introduced onto the mainline services from Paddington, but proved difficult to maintain in service, unable to operate at full power for long periods of time and had a higher fuel consumption than had been anticipated. 18100 was withdrawn in 1958 and 18000 in 1960. Despite the failure of the project, 18000 was marked for preservation being first housed at Crewe and then at Barrow before moving to the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway in 2010 and then to the GWS at Didcot in 2011.

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Photo by Hugh Llewelyn (http://www.flickr.com/photos/camperdown/)

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The ‘class 05’ diesel shunter DL26, nicknamed ‘The Rat’ was built in Hunslet in 1957. It spent most of its working life on National Coal Board railways before being sold the Great Western Society at Didcot in 1987 for use as a yard shunter. However, it was largely replaced in these duties once 08604 arrived at Didcot, since this was a more powerful engine.

The ‘class 05’ was built both for use on the national railways and on industrial sites. It seems that on the national railways it was a limited success and most engines were replaced and withdrawn early. One exception, 05001 ( the only engine to officially carry a class 05 designation) was retained for use on the Isle of Wight railway, where it ran from 1966 to 1985 before being transferred to the island’s preserved railway.

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3650 is a representative of the class 57 shunting engine, which operated on the Great Western Railway. It was built at Swindon in 1939 and worked through to 1963 when it was sold to Stephenson Clarke Ltd to work on a colliery in South Wales. It was purchased from there by a member of the Great Western Society in 1969 and was transferred first to Hereford and then to Didcot. Restoration took nearly 20 years but it was finally returned to working order in 2008.

These small shunting engines were among the commonest on the railway. 863 class 57 engines were built in total and like the diesel class 08 shunter which I featured a few days ago they formed the invisible work horses which kept the railways running.

3650 at Didcot
3650 in Stephenson Clarke livery
Photo by Roger Marks (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rpmarks/)

12-310  A Pannier Tank at the Bluebell; three of four - Didcot's 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 3650 at Sheffield Park  with the 14.00 to Kingscote
3650 in steam at Sheffield Park
Photo by Hectate 1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/50576141@N03/)


3650 in action at Didcot
Video by SimonTrains (http://www.youtube.com/user/Sim0nTrains?feature=watch)

If I think back to the time that I first became interested in steam locomotives, the names of two locomotives come to mind that I remember seeing in those early days. These two engines both came from the same class, albeit built to 2 different designs. This was the GWR Hall class and the two locomotives concerned were 5900 Hinderton Hall and 6998 Burton Agnes Hall.

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Hinderton Hall is an example of an early Hall class locomotive, built at Swindon in 1931. It spent much of its life working in the West Country and seems to have had a pretty unremarkable life. it worked up until 1963 when it was withdrawn from service at Bristol and sent to Woodham Brothers in Barry for scrapping. It was rescued from there in 1971 by a member of the Great Western Society and taken to Didcot where it was restored over the next five years to mainline running condition.

5900 Hinderton Hall over 4 years after withdrawal at Woodham's, Barry 23 March 1968
5900 at Woodhams in Barry
Photo by John Turner (http://www.flickr.com/photos/johngreyturner/)

Hinderton Hall 5900 2
Photo by Tony Hisgett (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/)

Hinderton Hall
Photo by Tony Hisgett (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/)

It is currently on static display at the Didcot Railway Centre awaiting overhaul to return it once again to full working order. Unfortunately its position in the engine shed on my last visit made photography difficult so have included some other photos which do proper justice to one of my favourite locomotives.