Former GWR 78xx Manor Class No. 7828 ‘Odney Manor’ returned to steam on the West Somerset Railway just before Christmas 2018 after being out of action for the last two years.
The locomotive’s first outings took place on Saturday 22 December on Santa services, and it also ran on subsequent days and on the first day of the Winter Steam Festival on 29th December.
‘Odney Manor’ has been a popular and reliable member of the West Somerset Railway’s home-fleet of steam locos since the 1990’s and is an ideal engine for the line.
The locomotive was removed from service earlier than expected in 2017 due to defective boiler stays having to be replaced, but it was also nearing the time where a full boiler and mechanical overhaul was required anyway.
During the time Odney Manor has been out of service, extensive work was carried out on the loco by the WSR’s locomotive department staff in addition to them keeping the loco fleet running on a day to day basis.
Odney’s boiler was sent to Riley Engineering where the repairs took place, and it was returned to the railway in August 2018 for reassembly by the locomotive department ready for a Christmas return.
WSR General Manager Paul Conibeare said: “We were delighted that Odney Manor returned to service in time for Christmas and New Year, and it was the star of the first day of our Winter Steam Festival before it was stopped to rectify a fault that had developed.
“I would like to thank our locomotive department staff for all their hard work in returning Odney to health, and we are very fortunate to have such a highly skilled and dedicated team working on the railway.
“With Odney Manor now having the potential to run on the WSR for the next ten years, we are looking forward to the engine being at the core of our home fleet of steam locomotives for 2019 when we re-open at the end of March and the years beyond.”