2018: The year of the ‘Grange’?

COULD the preservation world see a GWR-designed ‘Grange’ 4-6-0 move under its own power before the end of this year?

Twenty years ago the highly regarded Collett locomotives were consigned to the history books only; a member of the “if only one had been preserved” league. However, 2018 could be the year which sees all that change as the group behind new-build No. 6880 Betton Grange sets its sights on steaming by the autumn.

No. 6880 Betton Grange was one of the stars of the Tyseley Open Weekend on June 24-25 last year, carrying the boiler from No. 5952 Cogan Hall. The ‘Grange’ is expected to make a first move under its own steam towards the end of this year. GARY BOYD-HOPE

Work on the locomotive’s bottom end is now nearing completion at the Llangollen Railway, and requires around £25,000 plus volunteer labour to finish the job.

Both cylinders, cast using polystyrene patterns, were recently pressure tested and found to be fit for purpose. Work is now focused on the pistons and valves, which will effectively complete the front end. All coupling and connecting rods are fitted or to hand, and a small amount of work remains outstanding on the brake rigging.

The boiler, meanwhile, is being overhauled at Tyseley Locomotive Works, having arrived in November 2016.

The ‘Standard No. 1’ boiler was previously carried by ‘Modified Hall’ No. 7927 Willington Hall.

It is thought to have been constructed as late as 1960, and has therefore done little work. Consequently, it is in remarkably good condition, even in spite of the years it spent in the open at Barry Scrapyard.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM – on sale now!

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