GWR 6960 Raveningham Hall

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GWRGreat Western Railway 6960 Raveningham Hall
6960 20141004.jpg
6960 in October 2014
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works
Configuration 4-6-0
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
Status Awaiting overhaul
Loco Number 6960
Built 1944
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
Length 63ft 0¼"
Weight 75t 16cwt
Tractive effort 27,275 lb
Pressure 225 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

6960 Raveningham Hall, a GWRGreat Western Railway 6959 Class 'Modified Hall', was resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway between 1977 and 1996 and returned on hire between 2019 and 2021. 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. In 1944 F.W. HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948, CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941's successor as GWRGreat Western Railway Chief Mechanical Engineer, introduced a modified version of the Hall with improved cylinder steam passages, a longer wheelbase with extended main frames, and a re-designed bogie.

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.[1] The locomotive worked out of London’s Old Oak Common in the 1940s, Reading in the 1950s and latterly Oxford until being withdrawn from service by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in June 1964.[2]

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.[3] There it was acquired by Mr Brian Thomas and following restoration took part in the 1975 Rail 150 celebrations at Shildon.[1]

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.[4] 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:

Year Mileage
1977 380
1978 2,540
1979 3,890
1980 2,300
1981 2,382
1983 115
1984 7,261
1985 6,224
1986 5,514
1987 7,527
1988 4,798
1989 5,144
1990 2,922
1991 8,419
1992 5,399
1993 3,016
1995 51
1996 1,510
Total 69,392

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] This was further extended and the locomotive's last runs were on 1 July 2021, at which point the locomotive's boiler certification expired.[8] 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.[9]

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[10].

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Eighth Edition
  2. BRDatabase
  3. Beckett & Hardingham (2010) p. 74.
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 48
  5. Severn Valley Railway News 121,p. 20.
  6. Locomotive Services Ltd's website 'Icons of Steam'
  7. NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. 21 May 2019
  8. NBINotice Board Issue. The SVR's on-line method of circulating information to working members. 15 November 2019
  9. The Railway Magazine, August 2021, "Raveningham Hall bows out - next stop Margate"
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 213, SVRSevern Valley Railway-based Steam Locomotive Mileage 2020, Duncan Ballard


Locomotive Services Ltd's website 'Icons of Steam'
'Preserved GWR Modified Hall Class locomotives' on Wikipedia