Shropshire Star

Severn Valley Railway's purple 'royal' loco gets a makeover as it's painted into new colour

The Severn Valley Railway's purple steam locomotive is no more after it was repainted into a new livery.

The purple steam locomotive at Bridgnorth last year during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Last February the heritage railway that runs between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster announced it was marking the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by painting once of its engines into a unique purple colour scheme.

The loco 34027 Taw Valley was the chosen recipient with its number changed to 70 and traditional name replaced with Elizabeth II after a public vote.

Now the year - in which it also hauled a special train as part of the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham - is over, the loco needed to be put back in the paint shop.

It has now been wheeled out in black and carrying yet another number - this time 21C127 - with its Taw Valley nameplates put back in place and 'SOUTHERN' written in yellow on the tender that formerly had the Platinum Jubilee crest.

Taw Valley, which was previously purple for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, is now in black

Unveiling the colour scheme on the railway's Facebook page, SVR said: "NEW NUMBER, NEW LIVERY. Unveiling SR West Country Class 21C127 'Taw Valley' in its new black livery, ready for the 2023 season to begin!

"The loco will run at the Spring Steam Gala, get your tickets and catch this menacing looking loco in action! Tickets:"

The engine was officially unveiled on the Severn Valley Railway's Facebook page on Monday

The new colour scheme was announced in November. At the time, bosses at the railway said: "It's bound to raise a few eyebrows because it never carried this in reality, but we think it's going to look stunning."

The livery is not authentic to Taw Valley as it only ran in dark green in the condition it's seen in now. The black livery was used by the Southern Railway, the company that built the express passenger engine, during the Second World War which ended a year before the loco was completed.

Fitter, Steve Llewellyn, sitting on the newly repainted Taw Valley

When Taw Valley was finished in Brighton in 1946 it did carry the number 21C127, but was painted bright green with yellow lines, and was built with smooth casing along its sides.

34081 92 Squadron in the livery and appearance Taw Valley resembled when built in the 1940s

After the railways were nationalised in 1948 Taw Valley was owned by British Railways, which renumbered it 34027 and in 1957 rebuilt it into the shape it is now and painted it dark green.

34027 Taw Valley in its historically accurate livery of dark green - as it appeared when owned by British Railways

When the new colour scheme was announced late last year, the railway said the loco was being painted in plain black as it was due to have an overhaul towards the end of 2023 the decision was taken to do something different.

Plain black is the third non-authentic livery carried by Taw Valley. In 2000 it was painted red to help publicise the launch of the fourth Harry Potter book, but was deemed too modern looking to be used in the film series.