Hagley Hall

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 28th November 2011 by Liam Physick

This photograph depicts Great Western Railway No. 4930 Hagley Hall, named after an eighteenth-century manor house in Hagley, Worcestershire. It belongs to the GWR’s 4900 Class, also known as the Hall Class, a class of 259 4-6-0 mixed-traffic steam locomotives built by Charles Collett between 1928 and 1943. They were numbered 4900-4999, 5900-5999 and 6900-6958, and influenced the designs of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway’s Black Five Class and the London and North Eastern Railway’s Thompson Class B1. They arose from a 1924 rebuild of GWR Saint Class (officially 2900 Class) No. 2925 Saint Martin, which was given smaller driving wheels, a realignment of the cylinders in relation to the driving axle and a more modern “Castle”-type cab. The Saint Martin, renumbered 4900, embarked on three years of trials, in which Collett altered the pitch of the taper boiler and added outside steam pipes. The rebuilt locomotive’s performance so impressed Collett that he ordered more engines of the same type from Swindon works: the first 14 proved themselves in a trial on the tough Cornish main line, and their success led to yet more being commissioned. The Hagley Hall, launced in May 1929, was initially allocated to Wolverhampton Stafford Road. In April 1941, a bombing raid on Plymouth directly hit No. 4911 Bowden Hall, which was consequently scrapped: the remaining Halls entered British Railways service in 1948. They were withdrawn between 1959 and 1965, but 11 have been preserved and one of those, No. 5972 OIton Hall, currently based at the West Coast Railway Company, has found fame as the locomotive used to pull the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. Additionally, five more are being restored, another, No. 4942 Maindy Hall, based at the Didcot Railway Centre, is being converted back into a Saint Class engine, and No. 7927 Willington Hall is providing parts for No. 1014 County of Glamorgan (a replica of a GWR locomotive of the same name and number scrapped in April 1964 - no original members of the 1000 Class, also known as the County Class, have survived). Having moved around the Midland and Southern sections of BR’s Western Region (the former GWR), the Hagley Hall was withdrawn from service in December 1963, having covered 1,295,236 miles, and sold to the infamous Barry scrapyard, where it arrived in April 1964. In 1972, it was bought by the Severn Valley Railway, and arrived there on 6th January 1973. Restored to working order in 1979, it returned to passenger service on 22nd September that year when it double-headed with LMS Black Five No. 5000 a railway enthusiasts’ special train over the North and West route. It also ran on the main line, as far north as Chester and as far south as Plymouth: on 30th July 1984 it pulled the official train at the reopening of Kidderminster Town station. In October 1986 it was withdrawn in order to be overhauled, and in 1999 the Severn Valley Railway loaned it to Swindon’s Macarthur Glen shopping centre as a static exhibit. It returned to the Severn Valley in June 2007 and is on display outside Highley station in the Engine House which opened in 2008 following delays due to flooding. There are hopes of returning it to steam in the near future

Hagley Hall

Tagged under: steam locomotives, rocket 150, tender locomotives, british rail, grand cavalcade, heritage railways, london midland and scottish railway, great western railway, london and north eastern railway, harry potter

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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