Modern Great Western Miracles

Following from yesterdays blog post on GWR locomotives to be found in Didcot Railway Centre is a close look at two special (though very different) steam locomotive.  These are both examples that the engineering spirit of the Great Western Railway is still alive.

We start with the magnificent 60xx King class 6023 King Edward II.  This example of the country’s most powerful 4-6-0 took 20 years to restore.  It was largely regarded as a “mission impossible” due to its wheels being cut through due to a derailment.  Full details of the history of the locomotive and it’s restoration can be found on


Unfortunately the newly restored locomotive encountered problems whilst running-in on the Mid Norfolk Railway last year and so is out of service… so the mission impossible isn’t quite complete yet!


The locomotive is incredibly impressive and its blue livery is both striking and attractive.  It is certainly a star exhibit, let’s hope it will be up and running again before too long.

The second extraordinary locomotive is very different to the King!  Number 93 steam railmotor was built in 1908, but was converted to an auto trailer (for push-pull working).  This means the steam locomotive part – the really complicated bit had to be built from scratch!

The project was completed with the help of 2011 Lottery funding, but it has to be pointed out that the Great Western Society had ambitions to complete this project in the 1970’s when the Auto Trailer was purchased.  I strongly recommend checking out; it is fascinating story and incredible dream made true!

The Great Western Society’s ambitions do not end there either.  They are also recreating the lost County 4-6-0 class (1014 County of Glamorgan); back-dating a hall to recreate a new 4-6-0 Saint Class (2999 Lady of Legend) and also a 2-8-0 mixed traffic 47xx class (4709).  To find out more, click on the name/numbers to be linked to the relevent websites.