Replacement locomotive at steam gala

The Severn Valley Railway has had to find a replacement steam engine for its four day Autumn Steam Gala between September 16-19.

Pitchford Hall. Photo Tony Goulding
Pitchford Hall. Photo Tony Goulding

The GWR 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’ will make a special guest appearance at gala after the unexpected withdrawal from service of one of the planned guests, LMS 6233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’.

General Manager, Helen Smith, said: “We’re thrilled that ‘Pitchford Hall’ will be joining us later this month. This really is a splendid locomotive, and its unusual livery of BR lined black is very eye-catching. It’s never run on our line before, and we think it’s going to prove very popular.

“We’re sorry that the Duchess of Sutherland won’t be able to join us for our special event, but like any other heritage steam locomotive, unexpected problems do arise. We hope that we’ll be able to welcome 6233 to the SVR in the not-too-distant future.”

The railway's head of engineering Martin White said that the Duchess of Sutherland loco had been undergoing some extensive repairs and maintenance at its base in Ripley, Derbyshire.

"Quite late in the work schedule, a problem was identified with the driving-wheel axle boxes. Some of the metal bearing surface had cracked and become loose, necessitating replacement. Unfortunately this is not going to be completed in time for our event.”

"Pitchford Hall joins the other guest loco, GWR pannier tank 9466 and members of the SVR’s home fleet for the gala, between 16th and 19th September. Day rover tickets are pre-bookable at or can be purchased on the day."

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