GWR 2251 Class 3205
3205 was resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway between 1967 and 1987, and was a Gala visitor in 2000 and 2010.
The locomotive, a GWRGreat Western Railway CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 2251 class 0-6-0, was built in 1946 at Swindon and intended for use on the lightly laid lines in Wales.
When 3205 was withdrawn from service in 1965, she was bought for preservation by the 2251 Fund based at the Dart Valley Railway (now the South Devon Railway). In 1967 3205 became the first locomotive on the fledgling SVRSevern Valley Railway. She was hauled dead with motion disconnected from Totnes to Stourbridge on 22nd February 1967, and travelled onwards to Bridgnorth under her own steam on 25th March accompanied by 4 coaches including GWR 6562 which is still at the SVRSevern Valley Railway. The locomotive was steamed on a number of ‘Gala’ occasions between then and the official opening day in May 1970; the absence of a Light Railway Order meaning the public would purchase a ‘Day Membership’ which allowed them to travel for free!
On opening day, 23 May 1970, 3205 hauled the first service train from Bridgnorth. She continued in service until expiry of her boiler ticket in 1973. An overhaul was completed in late 1979, in time for the locomotive to take part in the grand parade at the Rocket 150 celebrations at Rainhill in May 1980. Part of that overhaul involved removal and splitting of the two halves of the cylinder block to fit new iron faces on which the slide valve operate. At that time the casting of replacement cylinders was considered all but impossible.
It is thought that this repair may have been the first time in standard gauge preservation that a cylinder block was split. Nowadays, of course, the fitting of replacement cylinders is becoming the norm.
3205’s second period of SVRSevern Valley Railway service ended at the end of 1984 with firebox issues, by which time the locomotive had logged 10,541 miles.
3205 left the SVRSevern Valley Railway for the West Somerset Railway in 1987, before returning to the South Devon Railway in 1998.
3205 made a return visit in May 2000 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of the SVRSevern Valley Railway in 1970, and made another welcome return visit to the SVRSevern Valley Railway as a guest at the Autumn 2010 Steam Gala, having completed a major overhaul in May that year.
See alsoFormer Residents
Steam Locomotives visiting the SVR for galas
SVR-based locomotives visiting other events
- A G Cleaver, "The Early Days Of The 'Severn Valley'", SVRSevern Valley Railway News 190 (2015) p19