£35,000 PARTS THEFT HAMPERS SALE OF SOUTHALL PANNIER TANK
Thieves have stolen an estimated £35,000 worth of parts from pannier tank No. 9682 at Southall – just as the GWR Preservation Group was preparing to sell the locomotive.
During late September or early October, the intruders broke into a stores van and took the components from the ‘8750’ class 0‑6‑0PT, understood to be cab fittings such as steam valves and injectors – although GWRPG Director Mike Gorringe said: “We’re not sure exactly what’s gone, as the person who dismantled the engine has since left the group, and other members who were involved in the project have passed on.”
Last steamed in 2010 at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, the locomotive is now up for sale – and the theft comes as the GWRPG is in the process of negotiating with three interested parties. Said Mr Gorringe: “It hasn’t helped the situation – the engineers who have looked at it estimate that about £35,000 worth of parts are missing, which obviously affects the engine’s value.”
The 1949‑built engine is the last ex‑BR machine remaining in the GWRPG’s ownership, the group having sold its ex‑Barry ‘Large Prairie’ No. 4110 to the West Somerset Railway plc in 2015, and ‘2884’ 2‑8‑0 No. 2885 to Practical GW Steam Ltd in 2013.
It had been hoped that the funds from these sales could boost the pannier’s overhaul, which has made little progress beyond the dismantling stage – but, said Mr Gorringe: “We had a loan from Ealing Council which had to be repaid, and paying insurance and the rent for the site to Network Rail has eaten away the rest.”
The group’s only two remaining steam locomotives are RSH 0‑4‑0ST Works No. 7386 Birkenhead (which is on loan to the Elsecar Heritage Railway, but failed last year and is awaiting a report on its condition) and Peckett 0‑4‑0ST Works No. 2100 William Murdoch, which is being prepared for a return to service at the Helston Railway.
●● Anyone with information, or who is offered parts for sale, is asked to contact Mr Gorringe on 01225 706688.
br-built ‘8750’ 0-6-0pt no. 9682 during its previous stint of operation at the Chinnor & princes risborough railway.