ROBERT Stephenson & Hawthorns ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. WD152 Rennes (7139/1944) has emerged from the Lydney workshops of Western Steam Engineering (WSE), resplendent in the blue livery of the Longmoor Military Railway.
The long-term restoration of the locomotive, owned by Phil and Nigel Williams, has been carried out at the Severn Valley Railway, the Flour Mill, and latterly by Ed Freeman at WSE.
It has been a complete ‘nut and bolt’ project, with every part of the locomotive receiving attention of some sort, including a major boiler rebuild. The locomotive has never steamed in preservation.
It will make its public debut at the Dean Forest Railway’s Wartime Forest Gala on May 13-14 and 20-21. It will be rededicated by LMR Colonel David Ronald at a ceremony on May 13.
During the first weekend it will work services with another War Department ‘Austerity’ – No. WD132 Sapper – with classmate No. WD75008 Swiftsure making a trio of ‘Austerities’ for the second weekend.
Rennes was built for the War Department in 1944 as No. WD75189, moving to Longmoor in 1946, where it received its name and WD152 number. It was later rebuilt by Hunslet and sold to the National Coal Board in 1961, ending its career in South Wales as No. 8 on the Mountain Ash colliery system in 1979.
It will spend 2017 on hire to the Dean Forest Railway.
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