West Somerset Railway announces visit of 6880 Betton Grange

Mike Lanning

The West Somerset Railway has hosted its Spring Steam Spectacular event over this past weekend 3rd - 6th May.  The event saw a selection of visiting locomotives and home fleet locomotives hauling services along the line, bringing an uplift in passenger numbers to normal running days. 

There was one other visitor that the railway had hoped would attend the event, but unfortunately, this was not possible. However, all is not lost! 6880 Betton Grange will be visiting the railway in July! Further details on the scheduled services will follow in the coming weeks.

In 1998, members of the 5199 Project decided to build a Grange Class 4-6-0 whilst based at Llangollen Railway. The Charitable Company was set up in 2003 on the completion of 5199 and an immediate start was made on 6880 Betton Grange.

A new cab was made and the new frames followed as membership and funding rapidly grew. The donation of the boiler in 2005 by the Vale of Glamorgan Council was a huge boost in confidence. Subsequent Steel, Steam and Stars mega galas put the project in front of a larger audience and boosted funds. By 2013, the frames had been completed and were assembled on the wheels. New cylinders were manufactured and installed and by 2017 the boiler was being overhauled at Tyseley loco works.

It was tested and installed in the chassis and completion, although slowed up by Covid, was steady and on April 11th of this year, the locomotive moved under her own power for the first time! The last Grange steamed in 1965 and none of the 80 strong class survived the cutting torch. Betton Grange fills a significant gap in the collection of GWR locomotives.

West Somerset Railway General Manager, Kerry Noble said ‘’We are really excited to be able to welcome 6880 Betton Grange to the railway in July. I am sure the locomotive will prove very popular with our visitors and we look forward to running some special services during the visit.’’


6th May, 2024
by West Somerset Railway
3 Min Read

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