Posts Tagged ‘great western railway’

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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 It was withdrawn in 1963 and sent to Woodham brothers at Barry, where it remained until 1970 when it was taken to Didcot.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

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.

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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Most of the King class locos disappeared quickly after they were withdrawn from service.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.

DSC01810 (1)

DSC01813 (1)

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

Some photos of 6023 King Edward II from last months steam day at Didcot Railway Centre

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The Chinnor and Princes Risborough railway is a standard gauge railway operating both steam and diesel hauled train services from Chinnor staion in Oxfordshire along part of an old Great Western Railway branch line. The line currently runs over a 3 ½ mile stretch along the foot of the Chiltern Hills running parallel to the Icknield Way, passing through attractive countryside with some outstanding views across the Vale of Whiteleaf. It is hoped eventually to extend the line to connect with the National Rail service at Princes Risborough.

Unfortunately the railway do not currently have a working Steam engine and so all services are currently diesel locomotive hauled.

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7821 Ditcheat Manor was part of the final batch of GWR manor class locomotives and was built in 1950. The locomotive mainly saw service in Wales and the west Country. Withdrawn from service in 1965 the locomotive was sent to the famous (infamous?) Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry South Wales where it remained until rescued in 1980. There followed a series of different homes including the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, the Llangollen Railway, Swindon and following restoration which was completed in 1998, the West Somerset Railway, the Great Central Railway, the Cambrian Railway and the Churnet Valley Railway where she spent its last months of its boiler ticket in traffic. 7821 was then sold to the West Somerset Railway Association in 2007 and was displayed at Williton station and then at Bishops Lydeard station whilst funding was being raised for its overhaul. In November 2010 the loco was moved by road to STEAM-the Museum of the Great Western Railway at Swindon for static display until the money can be found so that it can be restored to running order.

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The cab of 7821

The cab of 7821

A couple of videos of 7821 Ditcheat Manor in action

This video by churnetvalley

This video by SwanleyJack1

Yesterday a trip to Swindon and the chance to visit STEAM – the museum of the Great Western railway. The museum is housed in ‘R’ shed of the Old Great western Works at Swindon – once the biggest railway facility in the world.

With the changes in railway structure in the UK and the decreased need for building and maintenance of locomotives and carriages, the works closed in 1986. The old works area has now become a new development area including housing, a shopping outlet centre, the headquarters of the National Trust and the English heritage archive and National monuments records centre.

STEAM opened in 2000 and celebrates the works at Swindon where in its busiest was building 2 locomotives a week not to mention all the carriages and wagons to go with them.
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There are a lot of video panels where ex-members of staff at Swindon describe the work of each part of the facility. This gives an interesting insight into the day to day life in the works. In this way it has a different approach to many rail museums which tend to focus on the trains and the railway itself. That is not to say these are not lauded in the displays as well and the museum has a small selection of representative GWR locos (Caerphilly Castle; Ditchet Manor; Lode Star; a couple of Goods locos and a 1925 replica of a broad-gauge engine – a further loco Hagley Hall can be seen in the shopping outlet next door (which is also built within the preserved buildings of the railway works) and a station exhibit area showing what a typical GWR station would have looked like in the 1930’s.
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