VALE of Rheidol Railway’s (VoR) 2-6-2T No. 7 (nee Owain Glyndŵr) has returned to steam following a four-year £370,000 overhaul.
The project amounted to restoration of a loco, which last ran in 1998.
No. 7, built at Swindon in 1923, holds the distinction of hauling the last steam-hauled train operated by British Rail prior to the VoR being privatised in 1989.
The project has been aided by Coastal Communities Fund finance, with No. 7 used to train four young apprentices in heritage engineering skills, together with developing VoR’s Aberystwyth workshops into a major engineering base.
No. 7 worked its first post-overhaul revenue-earning train during a November 3 charter.
No. 7 joining No. 8 (ex-Llywelyn) and GWR No. 1213 (previously No. 9 Prince of Wales) means VoR will have its three 2-6-2Ts all available for the first time in 20 years.
This will be celebrated with a Forgotten Engines 2 event next September, prior to withdrawal of No. 1213 for 10-year overhaul at the end of 2019. No. 1213 will receive new tanks, which conceal the air pump, and should return to service in spring 2020.
Read more News and Features in the December issue of The RM – on sale now!
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