Appeal to steam Llangollen pannier next year
Llangollen’s own GWR pannier tank will be running to Corwen next year - if £15,000 can be raised. ‘57XX’ No. 7754, owned by the Llangollen Railway Trust, was a regular performer to Glyndyfrdwy and Carrog in the late 1990s and early 21st century, but last steamed in 2004. Since then, volunteers and Llangollen Engineering staff have overhauled the frames, wheels and motion, leaving the boiler to be tackled. Under new project leader Andy Maxwell, it is hoped that the job will be complete by autumn 2018 - by which time the new western terminus of Corwen Central should be open. An estimated total of £70,000 is needed to overhaul the boiler, of which the trust already has £30,000, thanks to legacies and benefactors, while it has committed a further £25,000 to the project over the next 18 months from the hire fees of Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T ‘Jennifer’ and Kitson 0-6-0ST Austin No. 1. Sponsors are being sought for the remaining £15,000 (see panel). Built by North British in 1930, No. 7754 spent its GWR and BR career working from Reading, Old Oak Common and Wellington sheds before withdrawal in January 1959. It was one of five examples sold to the National Coal Board, the others being Nos. 3663, 9792, 7714 and 9600 (the latter two also surviving into preservation, at the Severn Valley Railway and Tyseley). No. 7754 went to Talywain Colliery and later Mountain Ash, working at the latter until 1975. It was loaned to the Llangollen Railway Society, with its initial restoration being under the auspices of the 7754 Pannier Tank Fund, although this has been defunct since it returned to steam in 1993. The LR Trust took up the opportunity to purchase the locomotive in 1997 when the NCB disposed of its assets.
‘57XX’ 0-6-0PT No. 7754 runs round at Carrog, then the Llangollen Railway’s western terminus, after arriving with the first train of the New Year - the 11am from Llangollen - on a snowy January 1 2002. When the pannier returns to steam, hopefully in 2018, it will be heading through here for Corwen.