£35,000 PARTS THEFT HAM­PERS SALE OF SOUTHALL PAN­NIER TANK

Steam Railway (UK) - - NEWS FOCUS -

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.

CHRIS NEVARD

br-built ‘8750’ 0-6-0pt no. 9682 dur­ing its pre­vi­ous stint of op­er­a­tion at the Chin­nor & princes ris­bor­ough rail­way.

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