GWR Mogul 7325

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GWRGreat Western Railway MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration 7325
7325 20190629.jpg
7325 at Kidderminster, June 2019
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works
Configuration 2-6-0
Power class GWRGreat Western Railway: D, BRBritish Rail or British Railways: 4MTThe 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: 93xx Red, 73xx Blue
Status Out of service
Loco Number 7325
Other Numbers 9303, 98425 (TOPS)
History
Built 1932
Designed By George Jackson ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922
Type GWRGreat Western Railway 4300
1964 Withdrawn from service
1975 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society
1992 Entered SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society service
2000 Withdrawn for overhaul
Technical
Length 58ft 1¼"
Weight 62t 0cwt
Tractive effort 25,670 lb
Pressure 200 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

7325 under restoration at Bewdley in 1979, showing "Saved for S.V.R.!" on the tender, typical of locomotives saved from scrapping

7325 (originally numbered 9303) is a GWRGreat Western Railway 4300 Class 2-6-0 (mogul) steam locomotive intended for mixed traffic duties including cross country passenger services, long goods, parcels and excursion trains.

Having introduced a range of standard locomotives designed for heavier services, GWRGreat Western Railway CMEChief Mechanical Engineer George Jackson ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 asked his lead draughtsman Harold Holcroft to produce "...a 2-6-0 with 5 foot 8 inch wheels, outside cylinders, the No. 4 boiler and as many standard parts as could be used". The resulting 4300 class first appeared in 1911 and proved successful with 322 built by 1925, sometimes incorporating detailed differences. A final batch of 20 built in 1932 incorporated further design changes by ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922’s successor, Charles CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941. These included the introduction of side window cabs, outside steam pipes, a screw reverser, and a weight attached to the buffer beam to place more weight on the leading pony wheels and reduce wear on the leading driving wheels. As a result of these modifications, 7325 (originally 9303) is often referred to on the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society as the "CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration".

Moguls were allocated to local sheds including Shrewsbury and Worcester (both from 1934), Kidderminster Shed (from 1946) and Stourbridge Junction (from 1950). Locos (not including those with Red axle load restrictions) operated excursions on the Kidderminster – Bewdley – Stourport triangle from the 1930s. In the late 1950s 4 moguls were allocated to Kidderminster Shed to work coal trains from Alveley Colliery to the power stations at Stourport and Buildwas and sugar beet trains to Foley Park[1]. Reallocations meant that, for example, eighteen class members were allocated to Kidderminster at some point in their service.[2]

9303/7325 in service

The locomotive was completed at Swindon to Lot No. 276. She first entered service in February 1932 as GWRGreat Western Railway number 9303, and began life allocated to Penzance.[3] The following year 9303 moved to London's Old Oak Common Shed, spending the next 20 years at sheds in the London area.[4] Between 1947 and 1950 the locomotive was allocated to Reading.[3]

In 1953, 9303 moved to Tyseley, followed by Banbury two years later. In 1958 No 9303 was renumbered by BRBritish Rail or British Railways as 7325, who also modified the locomotive to remove the additional buffer beam weight in order to increase its route availability. After further allocations to Ebbw Junction (Newport) and Severn Tunnel Junction, 7325 was withdrawn from service at Pontypool Road in April 1964.[5]

7325 in preservation

7325 arrived at Barry Scrapyard in November 1964. It was one of only two members of the class preserved and the only "CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 mogul" (the other, No. 5322, being an early ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 example which saw service in France during World War I with the British Army's Railway Operating Division and which is now preserved at the Didcot Railway Centre).

In mid-1972 the newly-formed Great Western Locomotive and Carriage Society made '9303' its first target for preservation.[6] The following year the Society merged with the Great Western Rolling Stock Fund to become the The Great Western (SVR) Association. By spring 1974 volunteers were working on the locomotive at BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation., with the purchase being finalised in May 1974 with the aid of a loan in order to avoid a price increase proposed by Dai Woodham in June of that year.[7]

The locomotive arrived from Barry Scrapyard on 13 August 1975 in convoy with GWR 2857.[8] In Autumn of that year a raffle organised by the SVRA Stourbridge Branch helped raise funds for the purchase of locomotive,[9]

The small restoration team at Bewdley was headed by Pete Simpson who was also responsible for the restoration of 4566 and 5164. Restoration of the mogul began in earnest once those locomotives were completed in July 1975 and October 1979 respectively.[10] In 1982 another SVRA raffle was held to raise funds for work on the boiler and tender which were to be done as a contract job at Bridgnorth,[11] and a further raffle organised by the SVRA Stourbridge Branch was held in spring 1988.[12] The locomotive was re-wheeled in July 1988[13] and the boiler put back in the frames in 1989, with restoration continuing as funds permitted.[14] Although the owning group The Great Western (SVR) Association customarily refer to the locomotive by its earlier number 9303, the locomotive first entered SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society service in summer 1992 as no 7325.

Between 1995 and 1998, 7325 made the following appearances on the main line:

Date Tour name Route Notes Web SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News
19 May 1995 Kidderminster-Newport-Gloucester-Worcester D/H with 7802 from Gloucester. L/E from Worcester due to hot box on tender. 115-44
04 Nov 1995 Stourbridge - Bristol - Swansea D/H with 70000 Britannia, 7325 failed at Swansea due to hot box on tender. Possible duplicate of 11 November[15]
11 Nov 1995 Stourbridge - Bristol - Swansea D/H with 70000 Britannia from Bristol 117-2
18 May 1996 Steam on the Met London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) SBJ
19 May 1996 Steam on the Met London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) SBJ
25 May 1996 Steam on the Met London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) SBJ 119-58
26 May 1996 Steam on the Met London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) SBJ
27 May 1996 Steam on the Met London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) SBJ
11 Jan 1997 Taffy Apple Worcester-Hereford-Swansea-Gloucester-Worcester D/H with 42968 122-4
25 Oct 1997 Meldon Meanderer Bristol - Exeter - Meldon Quarry D/H with 42968 125-70
08 Nov 1997 Pilgrims Progres Exeter - Plymouth - Bristol D/H with 42968 125-70
15 Nov 1997 Hardy Flyer Bristol Temple Meads - Yeovil Pen Mill - Bristol D/H with 42968 126-48
22 Nov 1997 Lickey Incliner Bristol-Bromsgrove-Stourbridge-Gloucester D/H with 42968, first preserved steam on the Lickey Incline 126-2
31 Jan 1998 Inclined Salopian Gloucester - Lickey Incline - Bescot D/H with 42968 126-49
21 Mar 1998 Chester Chuffer Bescot-Chester + return SBJ
For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line

Having entered service in 1992, it was anticipated that 7325 would be in use until 2002. However the locomotive succumbed to a severely leaking boiler in August 2000 during that year’s ‘boiler crisis’.[16] Following a quick cosmetic restoration the locomotive was placed on exhibition at the Steam Museum in Swindon, initially for ‘a couple of years’.[17] In late 2005 the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society announced that the locomotive would return in time for the planned opening of The Engine House in May 2007.[18] After the delay due to the 2007 Storm Damage, 7325 was eventually shunted into the Engine House on 16 March 2008 ready for the public opening five days later.[19] At the Engine House the 'footplate' was accessible to allow visitors to climb aboard and learn how to operate a steam locomotive, and for weddings and civil ceremonies.

In September 2018 the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society commented that 7325 would take its place in the restoration queue before 7819 Hinton Manor, after work on locomotives under overhaul had progressed.[20] In 2019, for their 50th year, the Association launched a fund to return the MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration to the CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 GWRGreat Western Railway condition as 9303. A new chimney, smokebox, boiler refurbishment and ‘bottom end’ are required to get the locomotive into running order. A number of supporters have already formed the CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration Supporters Group to help with the overhaul.[21] The Association's web site stated “A possible start [on overhaul] could be made during 2019/20.[22]

In March 2019 7325 was moved from the Engine House to storage in the Kidderminster Carriage Shed, being replaced in the Engine House by 7819. 7325 was available for footplate visits and photographs outside for the first time in many years when displayed in the dock platform at Kidderminster for the duration of the "Step Back to the 1940s" event in June/July 2019. The locomotive had featured in the wartime-set 1998 made-for-TV film Goodnight Mister Tom, having been cosmetically repainted into somewhat dirty condition with no markings on the tender to disguise its more modern livery. This condition was re-created for the 2019 appearance.[23]

See also

Steam Locomotives
Goodnight Mister Tom

References

  1. GWRGreat Western Railway(SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society)A appeal leaflet
  2. BR Database, 4300 Class
  3. 3.03.1 GWR Archive Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  4. Ferris (1995), p. 27.
  5. BRDatabase Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  6. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 25
  7. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 31, 32, 87
  8. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Stock Book Ninth Edition (SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 36 states 20 August)
  9. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 39
  10. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 87,157
  11. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 63
  12. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 89, 90
  13. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 90
  14. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 93
  15. Shown as 4 November in Siviter (2008)
  16. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 134
  17. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 136. N.B., this was the Museum itself, not the adjacent Shopping Centre later occupied by 4930 and 7819
  18. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 152
  19. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 161
  20. Express Points September 2018
  21. 9303 Appeal leaflet (Retrieved 3 May 2019)
  22. GW(SVR)A website (Retrieved 10 March 2019)
  23. Severn Valley Railway 1940s event organiser updates on Facebook, 8 May 2019

Links

Great Western (SVR) Assoc. 9303 page
GWR 4300 Class on Wikipedia
The Collett Mogul Supporters Group on Facebook