Shropshire Star

Steam locomotive built in the West Midlands to make passenger debut on heritage railway this weekend

No. 6880 Betton Grange, which cost about £1.3 million to build, will take part in the Cotswold Festival of Steam.

Last updated
No. 6880 Betton Grange

A newly-built steam locomotive will be used for passenger services for the first time this weekend.

Hundreds of steam enthusiasts will experience No. 6880 Betton Grange at the Cotswold Festival of Steam.

Construction of the engine using parts from other scrapped locomotives was completed at Tyseley works in Birmingham last month.

The project, which cost an estimated £1.3 million, was led by the Betton Grange Society, formed in 1998 with the sole intention of building an 81st Grange.

Eighty of the Grange class of locomotives were initially made before production stopped in 1939 due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR), which is running the festival, said it will be the first time that three steam locomotives built in the 21st century will appear together in the UK.

The others are No. 2999 Lady of Legend, and No. 9351, which does not have a name.

Tom Willson, chairman of the Cotswold Festival of Steam organising committee, said: “Who would have thought at the end of steam in the 1960s that preservationists would start building new locomotives?

“Yet, there are a few that are either now operational, under construction or planned, most replacing classes that disappeared a long time ago.

“Everyone on the GWSR is absolutely thrilled that we have not one, not two, but three newly-built locomotives visiting our railway.

“This is shaping up to be one of the best-ever Cotswold Festival of Steam events and not to be missed.

“This is also the first time that three new-build locomotives have been seen together in preservation.”

The festival runs between Saturday and bank holiday Monday.