GWR 6960 Raveningham Hall

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6960 in October 2014

6960 Raveningham Hall, a GWRGreat Western Railway 6959 Class 'Modified Hall', was resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway between 1977 and 1995. 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 in March 1944, and in June 1947 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The locomotive worked out of London’s Old Oak Common in the 1940s, Reading in the 1950s and latterly Oxford until being withdrawn from service by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in June 1964.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

The locomotive was restored at ‘Steamtown’, now the site of West Coast Railways base at Carnforth. In May 1977, then owner 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 following a change of ownership.

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.[1] 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) and Virtual Murder (1992).

6960 Raveningham Hall is now based at the West Somerset Railway.

See also

Former Residents
The Severn Valley Railway on the main line
List of film and TV productions filmed on the Severn Valley Railway


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 48

SVRSevern Valley Railway News

Severn Valley Railway Stock Book, seventh edition.


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