GWR 6960 Raveningham Hall
|GWRGreat Western Railway 6960 Raveningham Hall|
6960 in October 2014
|Built By||GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works|
|Power class||GWRGreat Western Railway: D, BRBritish Rail or British Railways: 5MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic.|
|Axle load class||GWRGreat Western Railway: Red|
|Designed By||Frederick HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948|
|Type||GWRGreat Western Railway 6959|
|1977||Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|1996||Left SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|2019||Returned to SVRSevern Valley Railway on hire|
|2021||Out of ticket, left SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|Tractive effort||27,275 lb|
|Pressure||225 lb/sq in|
The SVRSevern Valley Railway's 4930 Hagley Hall is an example of the original CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 design of the successful 4900 Hall Class mixed traffic locomotive. The Class was first built in the 1920s and the design remained largely unchanged until C.B. CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 retired in 1941. Frederick HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948, his successor as CMEChief Mechanical Engineer, produced the 6959 Modified Hall class of which 71 were built between 1944 and 1950. Although visually similar to the earlier Halls, the modified version incorporated many changes. The re-design included plate frames incorporating a longer wheelbase and extended main frames. Cylinders incorporating improved steam passages were cast separately from the smokebox saddle and bolted to the frames on each side. Increased superheating and a re-designed bogie featured. HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 also produced a re-designed tender with flat high sides, and a number of the 4900 and 6898 Class Halls were equipped with these.
Seven Modified Halls were preserved, including 6960, although one (7927 Willington Hall) is being used as the donor for the 'Grange' and 'County' re-creation projects. Classmates include formerly hired locomotive 6990 Witherslack Hall and former gala visitors 6998 Burton Agnes Hall and 7903 Foremark Hall.
6960 in service
6960 was out-shopped from Swindon in March 1944 as the second member of Lot 350. The locomotive initially operated without cab side windows as part of wartime blackout regulations. In June 1947 it received the name Raveningham Hall after a stately home in East Anglia. The locomotive worked out of London’s Old Oak Common in the 1940s, Reading in the 1950s and latterly Oxford until being withdrawn from service by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in June 1964.
6960 in preservation
6960 left Barry in October 1972 as the 26th departure and moved to ‘Steamtown’, now the site of West Coast Railways base at Carnforth. There it was acquired by Mr Brian Thomas and following restoration took part in the 1975 Rail 150 celebrations at Shildon.
In May 1977, Brian Thomas moved the locomotive to the SVRSevern Valley Railway, where it continued in service until 1981. Following an overhaul 6960 returned to service in 1983; this second ‘ticket’ lasted the full 10 years to 1993. A third period of service began in late 1995, before the locomotive left the SVRSevern Valley Railway in 1996.
While at the SVRSevern Valley Railway 6960 hauled a number of rail tours on the main line, including being the first SVRSevern Valley Railway based engine to haul a main line rail tour, F&W Railtours "Cathedrals Express" from Hereford to Chester on 8 April 1978. It also acquired the nicknames ‘Ratbag Hall’ and 'Raving Mad Hall'.
During that time it also featured in TV productions filmed on the Severn Valley Railway, such as Surprise Surprise (1984), Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington (1987) and Virtual Murder (1992).
While at the SVRSevern Valley Railway Raveningham Hall recorded 69,392 miles as follows:
Following a decision by the owner to sell the locomotive, 6960 changed owners and left the Severn Valley Railway in late 1996, initially moving to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Between 2009 and 2012 she was restored to running condition and returned to steam. 6960 is now operated by Locomotive Services Limited and was based at the West Somerset Railway. In 2019 an agreement was reached to send 7802 to the WSR between May and October with Raveningham Hall coming to the SVRSevern Valley Railway on hire for a similar period, including the Autumn Steam Gala. This was further extended and the locomotive's last runs were on 1 July 2021, at which point the locomotive's boiler certification expired. In August 2021 'The Railway Magazine' announced that 6960 would go to the One:One Collection museum at Margate for around 18 months, with its future being considered when there was time for a full inspection.
At the end of 2020, 6960 had recorded a total of 74,756 miles in preservation on the SVRSevern Valley Railway. The reported total may include mileage on the main line and on hire to other railways while resident here.
- Former Residents
- The Severn Valley Railway on the main line
- List of film and TV productions filmed on the Severn Valley Railway
- Steam Locomotives hired by the SVR
- SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Eighth Edition
- Beckett & Hardingham (2010) p. 74.
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 48
- Severn Valley Railway News 121,p. 20.
- Locomotive Services Ltd's website 'Icons of Steam'
- NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. 21 May 2019
- NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. 15 November 2019
- The Railway Magazine, August 2021, "Raveningham Hall bows out - next stop Margate"
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 213, SVRSevern Valley Railway-based Steam Locomotive Mileage 2020, Duncan Ballard