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Going Loco - March 2022


The Return of the Champion - Chapter 8: A Champion Award?

We grow ever closer to that magic day on 2nd April when you all get to ride behindPendennis Castle again for the first time in the UK for decades. Much of the work recently has been the wielding of the paintbrush and, call us a bit cheeky if you like, we are going to keep the overall look a secret until the launch day. I'm sure we can put in a few sneaky peeks as pictures here but you're going to have to wait for the full effect! I can tell you it looks amazing although you can't really get far enough back from it to admire her where she stands at the moment. I can't wait to see it in the open and I'm sure you can't either. The mighty champion of the GWR really is coming back to life very, very soon.

Adam Meredith at work on lining out 4079 on 9 March

Firstly, we have to deal with the events of last Saturday evening. A small group of Team 4079 were obliged to get into best bib and tucker in order to go to the annual Heritage Railway Association's Awards Dinner in Birmingham. I was joined by Richard Croucher (the person who masterminded her return to the UK and raised all the money that we have needed ever since), Leigh Drew (who joined my team at just 18 years old and is now Didcot's Locomotive manager*) Chris Handby (one of the oldest of the team still regularly serving in Didcot Loco Works and the first guy I ever worked with on No. 4079 with) and Harry Pettit (one of the youngest who has served on the team who joined us about 5 years ago now).

Team 4079 at the HRA Awards on 19 March, left to right Chris Handby, Leigh Drew, Drew Fermor, Harry Pettit and Richard Croucher.

So, why had the suits been dusted off from the backs of the wardrobes? We had been nominated for the Steam Railway Magazine Award. For those that don't know, this is the only one of the awards handed out by the HRA that is voted for by the public. Voting commenced at the beginning of February and went on for about two weeks. I am both amazed and humbled to say that you, the public, declared our restoration of Pendennis Castle to be the winner! It is an amazing honour to have any award from the HRA but to know that this one was voted for by the general public makes it all the more special to us.

Tim Dunn (right), guest speaker at the HRA Awards, presents a bottle of champagne to Richard Croucher. Harry Pettit looks on. Should we smash the bottle on Pendennis Castle to launch her (at the risk of damaging the paintwork)? Or simply drink it!

There were some truly amazing projects that we were up against and any one of them would have been a worthy winner in our eyes. The whole team has been quite moved by this and as the leader, I guess it falls to me to say a massive thank you to all the people out there that took time out of their day to support us and give us a vote. It truly is a wonderful thing you have done and it has given my team something else to be rightly proud of. As if their magnificent restoration of No. 4079 wasn't enough...

So, in the best traditions of Going Loco, I want to tell you a story.

As we move into the final two Going Loco blogs until launch day, it's probably fitting that we remember how we came to still have Pendennis Castle with us today. She survived not by careful planning but by dumb luck and one man being in the right place, at the right time with an ‘I need to buy a Castle’ type itch that just needed scratching...

As we're not allowed to show you a picture of the complete Pendennis Castle this week, here Instead is 100 A1 Lloyds, the first Castle to be withdrawn.

The whole thing started with a desire to give the Castle Class a proper swan song. The class were fast being withdrawn from front line service. It was early 1964 and there had been a steady stream of the 171 strong Castle fleet being retired. The first one to go was a Star Rebuild, No. 100 A1 Lloyds in 1950**. By the start of 1964 they were fast becoming an endangered species. 1964 was a special year for the Great Western as it was the 60th Anniversary of No. 3440 City of Truro's famous run on the Ocean Mail train that resulted in her being the first locomotive to break the 100mph barrier. Ok, that's a hotly debated fact, but fact or legend, the publisher Ian Allan was determined to make a day of it!

City of Truro was in a museum at the time of the 60th anniversary of her record run on 9 May 1904. This photograph shows her just a day before the 100th anniversary of her record, running through Dawlish on 8 May 2004.

As City of Truro was at that time an exhibit in Swindon Museum and the 30 monarchs that had ruled the Western Main Line – the King Class – had all been withdrawn, this meant that the duty fell to the Castles. So, what was the plan? There were three legs to the journey, Paddington to Plymouth, Plymouth to Bristol and then the return leg to Paddington. The idea being that each leg was to reach that magic 100mph to honour their forebear's achievement. The remaining Castle fleet were assessed as to their suitability and originally No. 4079 wasn't one of them. With a few weeks to go, the in-depth maintenance checks on one of the proposed machines found a defect and the search was on again and the inspectors' eyes came to rest on Pendennis Castle. Her first piece of luck. Having passed mechanical scrutiny, she then was taken on a test run where she proved her ability to reach 100mph. This would be quite the milestone as we will see later.

This section of Pendennis Castle's record card records in the Tender Attached column the tender switch on 8 May 1964.

One consequence of this was that the engine was refreshed. The polish came out and a great deal of care and attention was lavished on her. They even flushed her tender tank clean. This proved to be a mistake as it turned out that the sludge at the bottom of it was the only thing keeping it water-tight! Another tender had to be quickly sourced and if you look at the record sheets that are the focus of our last Pendennis Castle report, you will see the change from tender No. 2390 to No. 2913 (which she is paired with to this day) was made on the 8th of May 1964. The day before the run! The crew for the locomotive had been specially selected too. The inspector on the footplate was Mr Bill Andress. A man of many years' experience and respected a great deal. The Driver was Mr Alf Perfect. A better name could not be found for this gentleman, his reputation of ‘Perfect by name and perfect by nature’ had led to him becoming the Western Region's Royal Train Driver. Two firemen had been allotted to the engine as well. Being aware of the fast phasing out of steam traction, they wanted to make sure that the engine stood the best possible chance and Mr Brian Green and Mr Doug Godden were selected for the honours.

Doug Godden visited Didcot on 25 May 2019 to see Pendennis Castle, temporarily reassembled. Sadly, Doug has passed away since this photograph was taken.

There we have it. A mighty locomotive, ready for battle one last time. A crew picked from the best that Old Oak Common has to offer and a date with destiny. What happened next? Well, you know those cliff hangers I like to spring on you?

The story concludes next week!

All the best,

Drew and the 4079 Team


Drew Fermor (centre) with two of Team 4079 at the HRA Awards – on the left is Chris Handby and on the right is Harry Pettit and a younger Leigh Drew smiling angelically as he wields a large spanner on Pendennis Castle, 17 January 2009.

*Yes, that makes me feel really old and he's not shy about reminding me about it...

**This means that, as the last ten were built from May 1950 until August 1950, there were never 171 in service at once. But until September 1951, there were 170 of them in service at one point!


Sleepers and Sleepers?

The thorny topic of railway terminology is always an interesting one so let's look at both sleepers and sleepers. This refers to two different things on U.K. railways. One is to do with track and the other with the passengers and we have some wonderful examples of all the types at the railway centre.

Let's deal with the track to start with. In British railway terminology, the cross-members that hold the rails apart. These are known as ties in the Americas but sleeper is the preferred terminology in the U.K. and Australia. They started out as stone blocks that were put at very regular intervals to support the more fragile wrought iron rails of early railways. There was no tie between the two rails and this led to the rails spreading and the trains falling off!

Brunel baulk road presented its own problem when adjusting the ballast packing.

There were lots of different solutions to the problem of keeping the track in place in the ballast and the rails the correct distance apart. Brunel had (as with many things) a unique take on this issue. He went with wooden sleepers but he laid the sleepers under the rails and tied the two rows of timbers together with occasional cross members. This arrangement was known as the baulk road and was said to have a smooth ride but with a slight up and down undulating motion as you went along, like a ship on a calm sea! One of the lesser known facts about what it was like to ride the broad gauge. We have sections of this replicated at Didcot in dual gauge. This is where a third rail to let standard gauge trains run on the same routes has been added.

By far the most popular type of sleeper was the wooden sleeper. These sleepers have been made out of a wide variety of timbers, both hardwood and softwood. For standard track (where there are no points), the sleepers are 8’ 6” long and have a cross section of 10” x 5”. They are spaced at 2’ 6” centres and there are 24 per 60’ length of rail. When you get to joins in the rails, the spacing is reduced. There are much longer timbers that are used for constructing points. The rails in some countries are simply pinned to the sleepers using huge nail type things called spikes. In the U.K. they sit in cast steel mountings called chairs. The standard G.W.R. chairs were fixed to the sleepers using bolts and the rails were held in place with small hardwood blocks called keys. If you get to Didcot early enough, you may see someone walking the running line, making sure that all the keys are in place.

Complicated trackwork using long baulks of timber was constructed in X Shop at Swindon. This was a crossing to be installed at Llanelli in 1908.

There were sleepers made of steel that were used during the G.W.R. era. They had a number of advantages in that they could be laid on pre-existing ballast. They are also very long lived. Whereas the wooden sleepers will decay, it takes a lot longer for the steel ones to do similar. They can be stacked when stored out of use or while being delivered and are a lot lighter as well. They tend to be used on lesser used lines but some of these old sleepers are still in use today. There are a few examples at Didcot - have a look at the track between the old set of wheels from No. 6023 King Edward II and the road motor garage. The final advantage of these was to be found to be on the remote Hejaz Railway which runs the length of the Arabian peninsula. It was found that leaving wooden sleepers unattended in the desert gave the locals a ready source of fuel for their campfires...

A concrete sleeper with chair for bull head rail.

Concrete sleepers are more usual on the railway today. Again, the G.W.R. also experimented with this type of sleeper and were using chairs on steel reinforced concrete sleepers in the 1940s as their use saved timber. Especially important when loads of sidings were being laid down quickly for moving stores, freight and other war materiel for D-Day. Today, the chairs have been replaced with special fastenings called Pandrol clips which are a sort of spring type affair and are used with the modern flat bottomed type rail (steam era rail is known as bull head and has a sort of figure of 8 type cross section). Some sections of track at D.R.C. have been replaced with concrete sleepers and just look over the fence to see the modern Pandrol type!

As we have said in our wonderful winter wagons series, the G.W.R. had a specific wagon for everything. Track laying and maintenance - known as Permanent Way - was no exception. We are again lucky to have an example of a few different types of P-Way vehicles. We will look at the ballast wagons some other time as there are a few! The wagon of interest for us is No. 100682. This is a very specialised type of well wagon that was developed to carry chaired sleepers. This means sleepers with the chairs pre-attached to speed up the track laying process. It and its fellows took the pre-chaired sleepers from the G.W.R.'s creosoting works at Hayes to the P-Way work sites.

Wagons of 100682's type loaded with chaired sleepers at the Hayes creosoting works.

This vehicle was built to diagram T.12 as part of lot No. 1313 at Swindon in 1939. In some ways mirroring the progress of sleeper technology, when it came out of service, it was purchased by the Taunton Concrete Company who fitted it with the wooden sides it still sports today. Remarkably, it is still main line registered. It has a through pipe for the air brakes and is registered as No. GWS 91200. It regularly sees use moving large items between the sidings in the west yard and the Railway Centre. Being 83 years old, it must be one of the (if not THE) oldest freight vehicle still in use on the national network. Unless you know better that is!

Chaired sleeper wagon No 100682 now fitted with wooden sides for its trips to and from West Yard.

We also have a sleeper coach at Didcot too, but that's a bit different! Trains that have beds instead of seats were first introduced in the U.K. possibly as far back as 1838. As a first class passenger, you could have purchased a ticket to travel on the ‘bed coach’ on the London & Birmingham and Grand Junction Railway. The G.W.R. first offered similar services to their first class passengers in 1877 between London Paddington and Plymouth. Third class passengers would have to wait until 1928 for this service to be extended to them too. And we think modern trains run late...

A 3rd class sleeper compartment, introduced in 1928.

The sleeper coach at Didcot is of a late design. It is attributed to Fredrick Hawksworth - the G.W.R.s last Chief Mechanical Engineer - but was built in 1951 meaning that it is a British Railways era vehicle. No. 9083 is built to diagram J.18 and is a first class vehicle. It is 64’ long and has the heavyweight 6 wheel bogies to better spread its weight on the track. It has 10 compartments, each with a single bed and its own washbasin. Each pair of compartments has a connecting door. There is also a small steward's kitchen and a toilet on board. It is in a remarkable state of preservation internally with all the original lighting and even all but one of the original mattresses upon preservation in 1970. It is owned by a consortium of G.W.S. members, each has their own compartment. The coach has been slowly restored to a fine static display condition by the owners and is presented in a wonderful - if inauthentic - late G.W.R. livery.

No 9083 during its restoration.

The sleeper train is still with us on the modern G.W.R. The Night Riviera service goes from London to Devon and Cornwall. It's one of just three remaining services in the U.K. today. So that's the tale of all the sleepers I know at the Didcot Railway Centre. It strikes me though that things could get confusing. The sleepers could be sleeping in the sleeper while travelling over the sleepers.

Anyone else feel tired? I'm off for a snooze...

An original notice inside No 9083 


The Pioneer's Progress – Part 5

1466 at Cholsey station when working the branch line to Wallingford on 21 September 1968

I said to my mate Phil a few weeks ago that my readers hadn't heard the latest from No. 1466 recently. And, as if summoned like a genie from a lamp, Mr Morrell springs into action and chose a verb or two to send our way. So join me in a cup of tea and a biscuit while we catch up with our founder locomotive.

Thanks Drew! Well, on this occasion its quite a bitter-sweet blog entry from me and you'll find out why shortly…

Firstly, let me start by saying; it's great to say that work is still progressing superbly well at WSR with Ryan and team. On the 10th of February the boiler was fitted into the locomotive's frames for the first time to enable trial fitting; a day later our BES boiler inspector came to inspect the work and to make sure everything was OK – the boiler fits beautifully and we were given the go-ahead to commence the final riveting. Work now continues to finish the completely rivetted boiler shell and it won't be too long before we have a completed steel shell once more.


Boiler being lifted Into frames & boiler sitting perfectly in its frames

Now for the ‘bitter’ bit...

You may remember from my previous blog, the copper firebox went away to Portsmouth for specialist copper-welding. Now, whilst the specialist copper welding work has taken place and progressed tremendously well at Portsmouth, in late January/early February we stumbled across quite a severe issue. The inner-firebox is made up of 3 main components: A tube plate at the front, a door plate at the rear and large outer-wrapper that goes up one side, over the top (forming the crown) and down the other side. We previously took small samples from these components for metal analysis before welding took place, to ensure that they were indeed ‘weldable’. Thus, we knew for fact these were grade C107 (Arsenical Copper) which is exactly what we expected. It's the original Swindon specification and is commonly weldable.

Thankfully, this led to all the work to the outer-wrapper being a great success and it's all finished. Brilliant! What we couldn't have foreseen however, is that 2 areas on the bottom of the tube plate and door plate have been found to be fundamentally un-weldable. The affected areas are where the foundation ring (the bottom of the firebox) is located. The affected areas on both tube plate and door plate ‘travels’ the whole width of the plate and fluctuates vertically between 4-8 inches. So, how can a previously sound and weldable material now be un-weldable? Well, this is most likely down to two factors at work:

  1. The affected area of platework has, at some stage in its life been severely overheated, losing its phosphor content.
  1. Due to the problematic area being where the fire sits, it is also quite likely that the impurities found in coal (on average: Hydrogen 4.5%, Nitrogen 1.25% & Sulphur 2.75%) have been absorbed into the copper over the many decades of use with the railway and beyond.

Both of these situations could and would effectively alter the metallic structure and inevitably, the welding parameters of the copper along with them. Either, and most probably a little of both, would explain our problem.

It's fair to say the past couple of months or so has been quite a stressful time and after speaking with the various technical advisers, plus meetings with the GWS Board of directors, having a good look at all our options very carefully. It's not simple choice by any means... We boiled our options down to the following:

  1. We cut the bottom off both sheets and weld new platework in. Pros: it's probably the cheapest option. Cons: We can't be 100% sure where the affected areas end until we try welding them and we would be welding into already old material that has already gone through a great deal of stress in its time. Also, there isn't any stock of C107 Arsenical Copper in the U.K. to be had at the moment to cut into shape for the patches.
  1. We manufacture a completely new replacement steel inner-firebox. Steel fire boxes are used quite commonly in most of the rest of the world. The U.K. was unusual in persisting with mainly copper fireboxes until the end of steam. Pros: The material for this is easier to obtain and could be relatively quickly sourced. It's easy to work with and would get the job done. Cons: It's not how the engine was built. We do try to keep our original locomotives as close to how Swindon designed and operated them as possible. Steel fire boxes also have a much shorter working life than copper ones. All the work on producing a fantastic outer firebox could be wasted if the inner firebox needed constantly replacing every ten to twenty years. It would also mean that we might have to think about instigating water treatment at Didcot to try to extend the life of the steel box. Not looking so cheap now is it?
  1. We get a complete new copper tube plate and door plate manufactured. Pros: It returns the boiler to the state that Swindon intended it to be in. The new copper plate work would have a long working life and be something that we at Didcot are familiar with. Cons: It's really expensive and it needs a whole new batch of C107 arsenical copper to be sourced and imported. Eventually however, this is where we decided to go.

We are currently looking at a minimum order quantity of copper, which also has a significant and somewhat hefty lead time. Then we need to have the press work undertaken to form the sheets. It is disappointing to say that this does unfortunately mean that it is highly unlikely we'll see No. 1466 back in action this year. I'd like to thank all our technical advisers (you know who you all are), as all your input and help has proved absolutely essential in helping us find the best way forward. I also have to thank the team at Hythe Marine Services on all their help throughout the past few months. I have really appreciated all their hard work and help in trying to resolve the issue. It is very unfortunate it has turned out this way and there really was no way of anyone predicting it. Sometimes the engine will just fight you every step of the way and No. 1466 has just sat down and said no... In the end, we are where we are. We will press on and persevere and eventually, we will have our little pioneer back home and steaming.

1466 carrying her original number 4866 in the late 1990s when 4073 Caerphilly Castle was also stored at Didcot.

Now, more than ever, we really do need your help to secure bringing No. 1466 back to working condition. With the current financial climate, market and material prices soaring (into orbit), it ultimately affects the total funds needed. In just sourcing the copper needed and the additional work required to the inner-firebox, we are now looking at an extra £40,000.00 to complete this project. Any donations small, medium or large are always gratefully received; In a restoration such as this, every £1 counts and can make such a difference to enable us to finish her overhaul. If you would like to donate to this wonderful pioneering locomotive, please following the link and instructions below.


Yours sincerely,

Phil Morrell

1466 Project Manager

P.S. - In the meantime, you'll all have to come and enjoy some weird Australian holiday taking Castle thing in a few weeks' time… ‘Skippy?’ sorry, I mean Drew, do you have any idea what this is?

Cheeky so and so...

Yes, No. 4079 Pendennis Castle won't be long now. I've just been sent the most amazing picture of a lined out boiler. Stunning! What does it look like? Come along on the 2nd and 3rd of April to find out!

To commiserate with Phil for a minute, we all go through these trials and tribulations with these old engines. Just when you think you're winning, is when they seem to bite the hardest. It's this time that those working on them are tested to the extreme. It's frustrating, annoying and upsetting but, it's then when you find out that you aren't on your own. Your colleagues in the society are there to help, the wider steam locomotive community invariably offer a hand and in the end, we all pull together. A common goal, a united front and some of the best friends I've ever made.


The Return of the Champion - Chapter 7: Is This a Record?

Adam Meredith applying lining to Pendennis Castle on 3 March

The march towards 2nd of April is moving onward relentlessly. A few of the required adjustments to No. 4079 Pendennis Castle have been made. My team have been mainly scrubbing the locomotive down so that Ali Matthews can get the paintwork ready for our signwriter, Adam Meredith to get stuck in. So while there has been a lot of work put in, it's not really a lot to see just yet if you know what I mean! Nothing to put on record so to speak.

Hmmmm, records you say?


The GWR engine history sheet for Pendennis Castle tracks her life from 1924 to 1953. The reverse of the GWR engine history sheet. The second engine history sheet for Pendennis Castle is the BR WR version and covers the years 1953 to 1964.

All which neat preamble leads, less than subtly(!), to the topic of today's blog. We are very fortunate to have almost all the various bit and pieces related to No. 4079 either in the Loco collection or the Great Western Trust (the museum team that write the complementary blog to Going Loco, Tuesday Treasures). They hold her original name and number plates in the museum and a rather important document. This is her record sheets from Swindon Works. It is very unusual for the original versions of these documents to be in public hands. These record sheets are more often than not to be found at the National Archives in Kew, London.

After Pendennis Castle was condemned on 14 May 1964 she was bought by Mike Higson and overhauled at Swindon Works. This photograph shows members of the Western area board of British Railways watching the workers on 16 February 1965. No doubt, with steam services rapidly coming to an end, the board members were surprised to find a Castle class locomotive under overhaul at the works!

So why do we have those for No. 4079? Well, Pendennis Castle was preserved directly from Swindon Works by Mike Higson in 1965. The record sheets are much like the log book for a car and as such, they were handed over to Mike when he bought the locomotive. This was quite unusual so, when he sold the loco not long after, he sold the record sheets separately as collector's pieces. Didcot is sometimes called the ‘Great Western Whirlpool’ and quite often, relics go through several hands before being either donated or bequeathed to the collection and these record sheets were no exception! Soon after, the locomotive itself joined us and the rest is history. So, why are these documents so important? Well, they give us a huge variety of different pieces of information about the service life of the locomotive. Let's have a look shall we?

The handover of Pendennis Castle to Mike Higson in 1965. Mike is the third from left of the group.

The first thing to pick out is the shed allocations. It was unusual for locomotives in such a large class as the Castles, for one engine to remain at one shed. They were highly prized assets and needed to be kept working. As one engine needed to be overhauled and was taken out of service, another would move to the shed it had left to keep its allocation up to full strength. As you can see here, because she was very long lived, No. 4079 has had a whole host of different homes over the years. She was initially an Old Oak Common or Paddington engine but has had extended spells at Bath Road, Stafford Road, Cardiff Canton, Gloucester and Hereford. Ending her service life at St. Phillips Marsh.

In between all these are the time she went to Swindon for maintenance. You will see that these are accompanied by letters. There are two different codes operating here, one used by the Great Western Railway and one by British Railways*. The codes are as follows:


G = General

H = Heavy

I = Intermediate

L = Light


HG = Heavy General

I = Intermediate. These could be HI (heavy intermediate) or LI (light intermediate) depending upon the scope of work.

C = Casual (also HC or LC)

U or NC = Unclassified or Non-Classified.

The different codes denote how big the repair was. The more in depth is at the top of each list and descending to lightest repairs at the bottom. She was at Swindon on average about once a year in her 40 year service life. It is interesting to note that she went in for a heavy overhaul very early in her life. She entered service on the 4th May 1924 but was back for the full treatment on the 25th February 1925. This is unusual but was in preparation for her runs on the London and North Eastern Railway in May of the same year. They were clearly making sure she was good to go!

We have the list of boilers she has been fitted with in here too. There were 4 main types of boilers fitted to the Castle Class. There were two main variants of the two row superheater version with slight differences in the firebox. There were also the three row and four row superheater versions. These latter two were also followed by mechanical lubrication and in the case of the four row, a double chimney and blast pipe. Thankfully for us today, Pendennis is preserved with a later version of the original two row unit (No. 6672 HD) and was never further modified, meaning that she largely retains the shape she was built with.

A glossy Pendennis Castle in Swindon Works after the overhaul was completed.

Tenders are also listed. We can see from here that she has had all of the common types fitted to the Castle Class engines. By far the most common represented is the Collett 4,000 gallon type that she is preserved with. She is old enough to have been one of the Castles to have run with the older Churchward 3,500 gallon versions. In 1925/27 we can see a more unusual Dean 4,000 Gallon type. These look like a half way house between the two previously mentioned designs. Rarest of them all for Pendennis unusually (they were quite common vehicles) was the all welded Hawksworth type - as preserved with No. 6998 Burton Agnes Hall in the Didcot collection. She carried this for about 4 months over Christmas and new year 1950/51.

Mileages were recorded by the G.W.R. These were only ever estimates and as time and nationalisation went on, the recording was eventually stopped. The engine doesn't have an odometer like a car so these are reckoned by some at least to be as much as 10% - 15% out. Even when just looking at the recorded figures, she has done pretty well all things considered. I once worked out that the 1.75 million miles that have travelled under her frames represents about 7 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon...

There are one or two little ‘extras’ for us to enjoy on these documents as well. The first is the note applied for someone who was waiting to receive their order of a nameplate and a numberplate when the engine was scrapped. On behalf of Mike Higson, Sir William McAlpine, Lord John Gretton, Hamersley Iron and the Great Western Society, sorry sir - we got there first! The second comment on the last page is one saying that it was damaged on a ‘spotter's special’. Someone in the office clearly didn't think much of Ian Allan and the Western Region of British Railways’ now legendary ‘Great Western’ special. An opportunity for the Castles to have an appropriate 100mph swan song after 40+ years of faithful service. It's a great story that one actually. One full of twists, turns and ultimate salvation for our project locomotive. One I must tell you.

One for the next ‘Return of the Champion’ instalment I think...

Yeah - I still like the cliffhangers!

All the best,

Drew & the 4079 Team

Pendennis Castle was initially kept at Southall engine shed during preservation. After she was bought by Hon William McAlpine and Hon John Gretton she moved to Didcot and this photograph shows her about to leave Southall shed in 1966. The Railway Observer, January 1967 edition, reported: “On 5th November, 4079 Pendennis Castle travelled under its own power from Southall to Didcot shed. The reason for the movement is that additional DMUs are now being stabled and serviced at Southall, consequent upon the closure of West London Yard as a stabling point. 4079 will be stored at Didcot until further notice.”

*Based on the London, Midland & Scottish Railway’s system.

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