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Grange Finds its Feet

Agreement has been reached between the 6880 Betton Grange Society and the GWR(SVR)A for the loan of the spare driving wheels from Collett ‘Mogul’ No. 7325 for use under 6880 Betton Grange which is being constructed at the Llangollen Railway’s workshops.

6880 Chairman Quentin McGuinness and Mick Haynes of the Severn Valley Railway-based owning group, exchanged contracts on 27th April in an agreement that will see the set of 5′ 8″ drivers released for refurbishment after 30 years of storage at Bewdley for the unlikely eventuality that they might be needed as spares for the out of ticket ex-Great Western ‘Mogul’, which is currently on display inside the Engine House at Highley.

“The wheels have been hidden out of sight since the early 1970s” Quentin told Heritage Railway, “Our next task is to get them craned out from their storage area on the ‘Stourport triangle’ and moved to Bewdley yard where we can get them NDT tested and assessed for suitable use under 6880”.

Although the wheels have been untouched since being acquired by the GWR(SVR)A they are thought to be in reasonably good condition and restoration and adaptation for use under 6880 isn’t thought to be a major problem. It is planned to get a quotation from the South Devon Railway to have the wheels refurbished later this year, which along with the overhauled bogie truck, currently stripped for repairs at Williton on the West Somerset Railway, will allow Betton Grange to become a rolling chassis at Llangollen by next spring.

The final major components required to complete the new-build ‘Grange’ is the casting and machining of a new pair of cylinders, the appeal for which was launched in Heritage Railway (No. 148) and already over £10,000 of the £60,000 required has been raised.