The project to build the 81st ‘Grange’ class GWR 4-6-0 is moving along rapidly, with a hydraulic test expected on the boiler in the next few weeks.
The Great Western Railway built 80 Granges, none survived the end of steam. The locos were reported to be popular with crews and reliable performers. In 1998 the Betton Grange Society was formed to recreate one of the class.
Due to the GWR policy of standardisation, many parts are common to other locos. The boiler comes from 7927 Willington Hall, the bogie and tender have been borrowed from 5952 Cogan Hall, and the driving wheels are on long term loan from the Severn Valley Railway, where they were stored as spares for GWR Mogul 7325. Numerous other smaller parts have been obtained from other heritage railways.
The loco is currently at Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham, where the boiler has received an extensive rebuild. Hydraulic testing is imminent, which will then be followed by fitting into the frames, with a steam test expected in Spring 2020.
The tender is located at the Llangollen Railway, where the society is based, and where the loco will return once complete.
The photos below give an idea of the progress so far, more details can be seen at the Betton Grange Society website.
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