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.
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