…AND WILL WIGHTWICK HALL BE THE 150TH RE­BUILD?

Steam Railway (UK) - - NEWS FOCUS -

Wightwick Hall is a hot favourite to be the 150th lo­co­mo­tive to re­turn to steam from Barry scrap­yard.

The Hawksworth ‘Mod­i­fied Hall’ is in the fi­nal stages of a 40-year restora­tion at the Buck­ing­hamshire Rail­way Cen­tre, with the lin­ing on its BR green paint­work com­pleted on Septem­ber 26. It is ex­pected to un­dergo a steam test im­mi­nently, with 6989 Restora­tion Group vol­un­teer Mike Tayler telling Steam Rail­way in late Oc­to­ber: “We are so close.”

The only other ex-Barry en­gines that are com­par­a­tively near to steam­ing are GWR ‘Saint’ 4-6-0 No. 2999 Lady of Leg­end at Did­cot Rail­way Cen­tre (con­verted from ‘Hall’ No. 4942 Maindy Hall) and unique sur­viv­ing sin­gle-chim­ney BR ‘9F’ 2-10-0 No. 92134 at the North York­shire Moors Rail­way, which is ex­pected to run again next spring.

A for­mer Worces­ter lo­co­mo­tive, Wightwick Hall was a reg­u­lar per­former on the ‘Cathe­drals Ex­press’ along with No. 6984 Ows­den Hall, whose Barry restora­tion is at an ad­vanced stage at the Swin­don & Crick­lade Rail­way. Iron­i­cally, Wightwick Hall is to ini­tially run with Ows­den Hall’s ten­der un­til its own is com­pleted.

With­drawn from Glouces­ter Hor­ton Road shed on June 1 1964, No. 6989 went to Barry that July, and ar­rived at Quain­ton Road on Jan­uary 9 1978.

MIKE TAYLER

‘Mod­i­fied Hall’ No. 6989 Wightwick Hall out­side its restora­tion shed at the Buck­ing­hamshire Rail­way Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 18, with its BR lin­ing com­plete.

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