Express & Star

Loco pulls out of Spring Gala at Severn Valley Railway

The Severn Valley Railway has expressed its disappointment that a new-build locomotive will not be appearing at its forthcoming Spring Steam Gala.

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In a joint statement with Tyseley Locomotive Works, Severn Valley Railway and the Betton Grange Society, it was announced that No 6880 ‘Betton Grange’ will not be appearing at the April 18-21 event.

In a statement, the three parties said although the locomotive has now turned its first wheel in steam following overhaul, and testing has commenced at Tyseley Locomotive Works, this has come too late to organise transport and allow sufficient loaded testing for it to appear at the Steam Gala as had been planned.

The SVR’s managing director, Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster said: “Of course, it’s disappointing that ‘Betton Grange’ isn’t going to make it in time for our event, but as ever with anything related to heritage locomotives, there is unpredictability.

“We acknowledge that every effort has been made by all parties concerned for the locomotive to be with us for the Gala, but sadly this just isn’t possible.”

Quentin McGuinness, chairman of the Betton Grange Society said while it would not be at the gala, the locomotive is set to do its “running-in” at SVR in May.

He said: “We are pleased that No 6880 will come to us for running-in after the event, and subject to successful testing, we’re delighted that it will stay with us to work trains on the Severn Valley Railway during May.

“Following its running, testing and entering service at the Severn Valley Railway, No 6880 ‘Betton Grange’ will appear at events as advertised, subject to any required maintenance or repairs that may be necessary as part of the commissioning of the new-build locomotive.”

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