ROBERT Stephenson & Hawthorns 0-6-0T No. 7151 has begun the journey towards a return to steam at the Avon Valley Railway (AVR), helped along the way by a four-coupled Kerr, Stuart well tank.
On February 24, the AVR ran an extra steam day, featuring Bill Parker’s 0-4-0WT Willy (3063/1918) as sole motive power.
The special trains were operated to raise funds for the overhaul of the 1944-built ex-CEGB Hams Hall power station No. 7151; the well tank displayed a headboard that read ‘RSH 7151 Restoration Project’ throughout the day.
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The big 0-6-0T has provided the backbone of AVR services since late 1999, and it even ran for a couple of years following its arrival at Bitton in 1980.
No. 7151 continued to be a regular performer until withdrawal in the summer of 2014, and since then has been awaiting its turn in the overhaul queue.
A small team of volunteers has begun removing the smaller items ahead of a full strip down, which will allow for an in-depth inspection to be carried out.
The boiler will likely be sent away for overhaul, but the railway hopes a lot of the general repair work can be carried out by volunteers, thereby reducing the total cost of the overhaul.
Read more News and Features in the April issue of The RM – on sale now!