The Severn Valley Railway’s open day in July 2016 gave a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes in the railway’s locomotive works in Bridgnorth. The railway has a large fleet of steam locomotives and there are several ongoing overhauls/restorations and two new-builds, so plenty to keep the staff and volunteers of Bridgnorth busy!
4930 Hagley Hall was regarded as the Severn Valley Railway’s flagship but has not been in working order since 1986. The overhaul commenced in 2013 and as can be seen from the pictures above its disassembly is advancing. To find out more about this classic GWR machine, click on the link below.
The railway is home to the first built and last surviving example of Stanier’s London Midland and Scottish Railway Stanier Moguls. No. 42968 (previously No 13268 and 2968) is being overhauled at Bridgnorth and was a personal first for me, as I had not seen a member of this class before. The locomotive has a fantastic dedicated website with a blog that’s well worth bookmarking:
BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 75069 is a former stalwart of the Severn Valley Railway. For me 75069 is a favourite as it was the first steam engine I saw on the mainline at Ashford, Kent in 1992, two years before it was withdrawn for overhaul. Mechanically 75069’s overhaul is progressing with the frames primed and painted, awaiting for its axel boxes.
If not the most glamorous, GWR 813 is a charismatic locomotive to be found in Bridgnorth works. Built by Hudswell Clarke for the Port Talbot & Docks Railway the saddle tank is a rare survivor of a westernised locomotive that was absorbed into the GWR at the grouping of 1923. More information about 813 can be found on the website below:
Construction of BR Standard 3MT class 82045 is one of the most pragmatic goals of the various new build projects in progress at present. The 3MT rating is ideal for preserved railway use, with enough efficiency and power to haul services required. The new painted cab roof was sat in front of the frames and the driving wheels were on display. More information can be found on 82045’s website:
If the 3MT is the most pragmatic new build, the “Catch Me Who Can” is one of the most unique. This is a copy of the 1808 Bridgnorth built “Catch Me Who Can” locomotive, regarded as the first steam locomotive built to haul fare-paying passengers. It ran on what would make a simple model railway layout – a circle of track, for the amusement of early nineteenth century London residents. The locomotive should be steaming soon, having passed its steam tests. Check out the following website for more information:
The machine shop in Bridgnorth was accessible for the open day and I have to say that I was rather jealous of their rather impressive wheel lathe!
Thanks for reading!