Epping Ongar Railway-based GWR ‘Hall’ No. 4953 Pitchford Hall is back in steam after overhaul, and carrying a livery never before seen on one of the Collett 4-6-0s in the preservation era.
Roger Wright’s ‘Hall’ caught many by surprise when it arrived at the Great Central Railway (GCR) for testing on October 2 sporting 1950s British Railways lined black livery with red-backed name and cabside number plates.
The gleaming locomotive was fresh from a £400,000-plus overhaul at Locomotive Maintenance Services of Loughborough, and subsequently proved to be a bonus star attraction at the GCR’s Autumn Steam Gala on October 4-6, despite the fact that it was not in steam.
The black livery has adorned other Swindon-built 4-6-0s in preservation, notably the Severn Valley Railway’s ‘Manor’ No. 7819 Hinton Manor, and more recently its classmates Nos. 7820 Dinmore Manor and 7827 Lydham Manor.
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