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Taff Vale Railway O1 class

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Power type  Steam
Build date  1894 (8), 1897 (6)
Configuration  0-6-2T
Serial number  Kitson 3572–3579
Total produced  14
Taff Vale Railway O1 class
Builder  Kitson & Co. (8), TVR Cardiff West (6)

The Taff Vale Railway O1 class was a class of 0-6-2T steam tank locomotives designed by Tom Hurry Riches and introduced to the Taff Vale Railway in 1894.

Withdrawal and disposal

All were withdrawn from traffic between 1925 and 1931.

Of the 0-6-2T mixed traffic class, only one survives today, No.28. It is the last Welsh-build standard gauge locomotive. No.28 began its TVR career working the mineral and coal trains from collieries to port. By 1922 when the Great Western Railway had taken control, it had run 483,189 miles, and by 1923 was given a major overhaul, receiving a new boiler from the West Yard Works.

Absorbed into the GWR fleet, No.28 was renumbered No.450, and given a GWR-style cover over its safety value, its external design was unchanged. It was withdrawn from service on 30 October 1926, but was found to be in good mechanical condition and sold to Government in 1927, for use on the Woolmer Military Instructional Railway, later called the Longmoor Military Railway. The engine was named "Gordon", after the General of Khartoum, and was kept in immaculate condition in Hampshire, performing relatively light duties compared to its TVR working days.

The Second World War broke out and No.28 was renumbered W.D 205, then W.D 70205, before becoming surplus again and put into storage. It was then sold in 1947 to the National Coal Board and used at their Hetton colliery railway. It was renumbered No.67, though still retaining the "Gordon" nameplates as it engaged in heavy work on the coalfields again. It received a major overhaul in 1955, with minor alterations to its external design, but by 1959 it needed boiler repairs and was withdrawn from service in 1960.

Following requests to NCB that it should be saved, it was successfully presented to British Railways for preservation in 1962. It is now part of the National Collection. It was originally intended that the last Welsh-built standard gauge locomotive be restored to original TVR condition at the Caerphilly Locomotive Works, however the site was given notice of closure and No.28 was the last to leave for storage in Swindon and London.

In 1966, it was returned to Caerphilly as the National Museum of Wales had been given custodianship of the locomotive. During the late sixties/early seventies the engine was restored to working order by the Caerphilly Railway Society in 1983 and ran for about 7 years until taken out of service due to routine boiler examination. Caerphilly Railway Society was extensively burgled and vandalized into oblivion. The locomotive then spent over a decade on loan to the Dean Forest Railway who dismantled it for a more thorough restoration, but these were unsuccessful due to the discovery of cracked springs.

Recently the NRM has moved the locomotive to the Llangollen Railway where it is currently loaned to and being rebuilt. [1] As of 2013, the cosmetic restoration of TVR 'O1' No. 28, is set to go ahead thanks to a unique three-way partnership between the National Railway Museum, the Llangollen Railway where it is currently on loan to, and the Gwili Railway. [2] The aim is to return the loco to showroom condition and display it as a proper train exhibit with Taff Vale Railway Brake Third coach No. 220. [3]

References

Taff Vale Railway O1 class Wikipedia


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