We will be adding any press releases or other news items to this section as soon as they are available. Please check back regularly for updates or register for our e-mail newsletter to receive the very latest news.
21 Jul 2022
The recent temporary ban on the use of steam locomotives on the Severn Valley Railway, introduced as a measure to eliminate the high risk of lineside fires during the present extreme high temperatures and lack of rainfall, has also effectively stopped any further testing and mileage accumulation on 4930 “Hagley Hall”.
In order to hopefully eliminate any delay in the locomotive’s re-entry into service, the decision has been reached to utilise the current “steam ban” time to allow the final application of top coats paint to 4930. Due to the current upgrading work now in progress at Bridgnorth Works, 4930 has now entered Kidderminster Diesel Depot where painting and other remaining work will be completed.
Following completion, and keeping fingers crossed for the end of the steam ban, 4930 will undergo a sustained period of mileage accumulation before re-entry into service.
Views of 4930 being shunted into Kidderminster Diesel Depot on Monday, 18 July 2022. Photos: Andy Sweet.
10th July 2020
4930 has been out on test again this week, and has now reached both Bewdley and Kidderminster. Thanks to Dave Fulcher-Insull for the photos.
22 Jun 2022
Following final examination by the BES Boiler Inspector this morning, 4930 Hagley Hall has been signed off to begin line testing. Following attention to a minor brake issue. 4930 paired with 2999 “Lady of Legend” to run south to Hampton Loade, from where it returned to Bridgnorth under its own power.
Crew of the first test run of 4930 Hagley Hall on 22 Jun 2022 included Andy Sweet and Duncan Ballard, who were founder members of the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall, which they began in 1999.
4930 passing Crossing Cottage LC, Eardington whilst returning to Bridgnorth from Hampton Loade on its first test run.
4930 at Hampton Loade.
11 Jun 2022
This week marked the 15th Anniversary of the return of 4930 Hagley Hall to the Severn Valley Railway following eight years of display at the Swindon Outlet Centre.
During the journey, the opportunity was taken to make a short detour to Hagley Hall on 8th June 2007, courtesy of Lord Cobham.
Fifteen years later, to the day, 4930 was able to move a short distance under its own power in Bridgnorth Works Yard, as initial early commissioning tests continue.
4930 at Hagley Hall. 8th June 2007
4930 negotiating Comberton Hill, Kidderminster. 8th June 2007
11 May 2022
We are delighted to announce that at 1545 on Tuesday 10 May 2022, a warming fire was set in the firebox of 4930 at Bridgnorth Works by Project Leader Dave Fulcher-Insull and the MPD team. This allowed the boiler to slowly warm through, whilst careful and thorough checking was completed on castings, joints, pipe-work and other components.
This afternoon, Wednesday, 11 May 2022, after brake, lubricator and injector checks, and with boiler pressure increasing, 4930 was moved a few yards in the works yard under its own steam. Almost exactly 93 years since the locomotive was first completed at GWR Swindon Works in May 1929, thirty-five and a half years have now elapsed since 4930 last moved under its own power in 1986. Painstaking attention needs to be given to double-checking every working part during the first stages of the commissioning process.
Further static testing will need to be completed, and other ancillary work finalised before any meaningful movement is anticipated, and this may need to be suspended in the event of adjustments being necessary. Eventual first movements will be very limited in scope and carried out on an ad hoc basis.
Whilst this is a major achievement, and a testament to all those who have been involved, it is only the start of the lengthy commissioning phase before the locomotive can finally re-enter traffic.
08 April 2022
4930 at Bridgnorth Works on 07 Apr 2022
Today marks the 37th Anniversary of the unexpected appearance of 4930 at Plymouth following an overnight rescue trip from the Severn Valley Railway. It was hurriedly prepared and sent to replace 6000 King George V on the Great Western 150 special, which it was due to double head with 7819 Hinton Manor. Both 6000 and 7819 suffered hot tender axleboxes on 7th April’s outward journey, 6000 being removed at Taunton and 7819 at Exeter, the train being diesel hauled onwards to Plymouth. Following overnight work on 7819, both it and 4930 were available at Plymouth for the GW 150 special and gave fine performances over the South Devon banks back to Bristol.
27 March 2022
Work continues on several fronts to complete the remaining tasks on 4930. These images illustrate the progress over the last few weeks.
New components to make up the Driver’s side main steam pipe assembly in the process of being secured into place.
Fireman’s side injector delivery pipe to the top feed clack valve in the process of being fitted.
Cab ATC equipment (non-functional) in place for aesthetic effect.
Many smoke box fittings now in place, the chimney is centrally aligned and securing holes have been drilled. Front platework is also being fitted.
The new chimney. Copper cap pending once completed by an external supplier.
New chimney casting.
New chimney base from inside, with regulator valve housing behind.
14 Feb 2022
On Sunday, 13 February, 4930 was shunted from the paint shop to a new position within the works, enabling some views in the open air. Photos: Alex Robinson
25 Jan 2022
Following modification, the new steam pipes have been pressure tested, and now await annealing before final fitting.
The cab floor frame is being built in.
The interior of the smokebox with the regulator box and superheater header in position. The pipe to the left is a temporary dummy to help line up the new shrouds on the exterior. The wood is present to brace it in position.
Cab fittings have been permanently re-affixed, including lubricator, regulator stuffing box and brake valve.
New cylinder cladding being trial fitted. This will need to be removed for lubrication pipework to be fitted.
15 December 2021
Following hard on the heels of last week’s update showing the refitting of 4930’s boiler and firebox to the frames and running gear, we are delighted to bring you news of today’s 4930 “Christmas Bonus”. This morning, 4930 was joined to its gleaming Collett tender outside the Boiler Shop, and then drawn slowly through Bridgnorth Station into the Works Yard, where a trial fitting of the new chimney casting was made, before 4930 finally headed inside for its cosmetic appointment within the Paint Shop. As “a picture says a thousand words” here are some photographs of today’s action for all to enjoy.
08 Dec 2021
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall are delighted to announce that the fully restored boiler and firebox has today been finally reunited with the locomotive’s rolling chassis at Bridgnorth Works Boiler Shop. This now gives 4930 the appearance of a complete locomotive and brings the prospect of the first steaming of Hagley Hall a significant step closer. Although much work remains to be finalised in the next few months, it is cause for celebration that another major milepost in the locomotive’s long-running restoration has been passed.
08 Nov 2021
October marked the 35th anniversary of 4930's last steaming in October 1986.
It is with great pleasure that we follow on from the recent boiler 'trial fit' news with yet more visually impressive images, which illustrate how the restoration progress is gathering even more speed.
New steelwork which will become the new front running plate.
Application of top-coat, lining, and varnish to the tender is now complete, to reveal the chosen GWR livery.
GWR 'shirtbutton' logo will be carried by 4930, the emblem having been hand-gilded.
GWR lined 'shirtbutton' livery was carried by 4930 in the final years of it's previous working life on the SVR between July 1984 and Oct 1986. This variation is not currently carried by any other preserved GWR 'Hall' locomotive. As a taster of what we can expect in 2022, here is a view of 4930 in pristine condition at Bewdley in Summer of 1984.
The superb standard of paintwork on the completed tender demonstrates the skills of painter Ronan O'Brien, ably assisted by Andy Darby, Andy Williams, Dave Giddins, David Dillistone, Bernard Green, Steve Jones and others.
They will now turn their attention to the painting of the locomotive.
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall, and the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust would continue to welcome any further donations towards the restoration of 4930 as this project moves into its final stages.
15 October 2021
Another impressive milestone in the restoration of 4930 was passed today, with the trial fitting of the fully restored boiler into the locomotive’s frames at Bridgnorth Works.
Whilst this is a very significant development within the restoration, it must be stressed that this was an initial “trial fit”, for the purposes of checking clearances. The boiler now requires lagging to be completed whilst outside the frames prior to final fitting taking place.
A very momentous day for all our supporters and the 4930 Project Team
13 September 2021
Pictured at Bridgnorth Works today, 4930 is rapidly taking shape.
Rear and front cylinder relief valves have now been refurbished, set, and refitted. Visible on lower right are the cylinder drain cocks, which have been machined and refitted, and which can be seen more completely in the following side view.
Both sets of valves have been refitted and are ready for action.
New castings are being machined for retaining valves. One is destined for fitting to 4930.
New components required for the main steam pipe flanges and stuffing boxes.
Work continues refitting pipe runs under the locomotive.
Subject to availability of volunteers, The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall will be holding our Sales Stand at Bewdley Station during the SVR Steam Gala (16th – 19th Sept). Many bargains on end of line items.
30 July 2021
More visual evidence today of the steady progress being made on the reconstruction of 4930 at Bridgnorth.
As the photographs illustrate, the connecting rods have now been fitted, and the locomotive is now off the lifting jacks.
The locomotive and tender have been coupled together for the first time since 7th October 2013, in order to assist the locomotive off the jacks. The sharp-eyed will note that the Hawksworth tender then fitted has now been replaced by another which incorporates a new build Collett-design tender tank, more befitting the earlier GWR “Halls”.
The vacuum/air pump has also been reconnected.
Finally, earlier today, 4930 got a breath of fresh air as it was pulled into the yard to check the motion.
07 Jul 2021
4930’s boiler cladding sheets have now been repaired, but three sheets required replacement. The front sand boxes are also now complete.
Valve gear has now been refitted in position.
Oil lubrication pipe feeds to the axle-boxes are now fitted.
Now, something to gladden the heart……
Nameplate brackets have been drilled into the splashers and the plates temporarily positioned.
All the brake blocks have now been fitted.
The smokebox has been refitted to the boiler, and the new lower holes drilled.
4930’s tender was subjected to a trial fill to its full 4000-gallon capacity, which was completed successfully.
This latest update demonstrates the rapid rate of progress in the reconstruction of 4930.
Our huge thanks go to the 4930 Project Team, Full-Time Staff and Volunteers at Bridgnorth Works for their commitment and enthusiasm in driving the restoration forward.
19 May 2021
4930’s bogie wheels have now been reunited with the frames, giving the underframe a more complete look.
The brake shaft is now mounted back under the frames, and (below), the brake cylinder is back in position.
The works’ apprentice has been busy refitting the sanding boxes back in position on 4930, whilst “the Wednesday Gang” have been fixing the splashers back in position.
The refurbished air pump is now back in position on the frames, awaiting connection to the crosshead.
The renovated piston is now back in the right-side cylinder.
At the rear of the right-side cylinder, the rear end of the piston rod and the crosshead, waiting to be reconnected.
Two views of 4930’s new springs in position.
The completed splashers. Also the new lubrication pipework which will be fitted under the boiler cladding and which is now ready for installation.
Work on the cab is progressing well. The back fin of the roof has been matched up, and much riveting has been completed. New sections have been welded into the cab strengthening bars.
21 Apr 2021
The recent move of 4930’s frames onto the lifting jacks at Bridgnorth Works has enabled another phase in the locomotive’s restoration to be put into motion. This morning, the frames were lifted to allow the driving wheels to be rolled into position. The frames were then carefully lowered until the six axleboxes successfully engaged with the hornguides, and 4930 became a rolling chassis once more.
The bogie wheels are shown in approximate position and will be fitted to the frames in due course. The slide bars have been fitted on both sides of the locomotive frames.
In a separate operation this afternoon, one of the newly machined crossheads, seen above, was trial fitted to the slide bars on one side of the locomotive.
All in all, a truly momentous day!
13 April 2021
4930 has been on the move! Today, the locomotive frames have been moved within Bridgnorth Works, from their position on accommodation bogies, onto the lifting jacks. This is in readiness for the next stages of the locomotive’s reconstruction.
All driving wheelsets now have axleboxes trial fitted.
01 Apr 2021
What better start to our next update than to show the new star of GWS Didcot’s collection, 2999 “Lady of Legend”, the newly-arrived visitor at Bridgnorth, and centrepiece of the forthcoming SVR Spring Steam Up. 2999 is surrounded by 4930, our own “star of the show in waiting” for 2022, whose boiler stands adjacent to it, and the tender to right. Out of shot, behind the camera, are 4930’s frames.
Trial fitting of the first axlebox in 4930’s frames has been in progress, and at the successful conclusion, one has now been permanently positioned.
Two views of the new heat shield for the ashpan, currently upside-down.
Below, as a direct comparison, the condition of the original, and the ashpan is shown during the dismantling of the loco on 11 August 2015.
One of the ash doors, with surrounding frame, during construction.
Ash door welding preparation, necessary to achieve a strong overall structure.
The first set of slide bars refitted to the locomotive. Both sides have now been completed, and measurements have been taken for machining the crossheads which support the connecting rods.
Finally, Ian Bromley, “Brol” to one and all, continues work trial fitting axleboxes to 4930’s driving wheels.
21 Feb 2021
A part-machined driving axlebox is illustrated, together with two further similar examples, and others awaiting their turn on the boring machine.
The art of aligning the axleboxes requires an optical alignment scope set up to look through the centre of the cylinder bore. Here, 4930 Project Team Leader Dave Fulcher - Insull checks the instrument readings.
Left: The chimney shown upside-down for the machining of the ejector blower ring diameter, and the trial fitting of the ring. Right: Now the right way up, the chimney ready for machining the cap edge.
Whilst on the machine, the lip was trued, before the completed chimney was painted. Views of the Superheater header after re-machining of all the seats, including those of the big main steam pipe.
Two views of the second main driving axle box to have the bore and thrust face completed.
One of the two valves now completed. These will need to have the distances between the heads checked. The sleeves also need to be hardened and ground.
The steam fountain, complete with all its fittings, prepared for its pressure test.
This was successful, and the fountain has now been partially stripped down to ease its eventual fitting to the locomotive.
10 Jan 2021
During the past week, in far from ideal conditions of snow, rain and freezing conditions, the project team have been busy re-wheeling the locomotive bogie. Here, we can see the remarkable progress which has been made. Firstly, the felt pads and under-keeps (oil-boxes) were fitted.
Next followed the spring beams, which form the suspension unit for the bogie.
The spring set is shown upside down, mounted in the centre of the beams.
The main frame was then lowered onto the axle box.
Now almost complete, the bogie unit is shown just awaiting fitting of the tie frame below.
17 Dec 2020
4930 Hagley Hall’s boiler leaves the premises of Northern Steam Engineering on 16 Dec 2020, following its extensive overhaul.
Arriving at Bridgnorth Works on 17 Dec, following its journey from Stockton.
Unloading from the road trailer took place utilising the Boiler Shop’s overhead cranes.
Back on rail, mounted on a bogie Bolster wagon.
Martin White, SVR Head of Engineering commented:
“The return of Hagley Hall's boiler is the conclusion of 32 months of collaboration between SVR and Northern Steam Engineering (NSE). An excellent working relationship has been developed between our two organisations, and although the work has been carried out at NSE premises, there are many components in the boiler, such as the copper and steel stays and safety valves, which were produced by SVR personnel at Bridgnorth and shipped to NSE at Stockton, as the boiler rebuild has progressed. In the overall Hagley Hall project, delivery of the boiler is just one task that is now ticked off, albeit a fairly large and substantial one.”
We look forward to 2021 being the year of reconstruction to achieve our long-held aim.
10 Dec 2020
We are delighted to announce that another major milestone in the restoration of 4930 has been successfully passed. A steam test on Hagley Hall’s boiler was carried out on Monday 7th December by Northern Steam Engineering at their premises at Stockton in the presence of the boiler inspector. During the afternoon, the safety valves lifted, the first time for over a generation since the locomotive last dropped its fire in October 1986.
A spokesman for Northern Steam Engineering said:-
"Over the past few years Northern Steam Engineering has developed an excellent working relationship with the Severn Valley Railway and the Hagley Hall Group.
We were selected as the preferred supplier to build a brand-new tender tank for Hagley Hall and on completion of this were invited to bid for the overhaul of the locomotive's boiler.
We were delighted to receive the news that we had again been selected as the preferred supplier giving us the opportunity to continue building our relationship with our friends at Bridgnorth. Working closely with the railway’s engineering team and the Boiler Inspector, we produced a detailed scope of work that would see the locomotive's boiler brought back to life.
This has been a major overhaul with the inner firebox being removed from the boiler and stripped to component parts. A 75% new outer firebox, a new front tubeplate produced by ourselves at Northern Steam Engineering using traditional methods, and fitting of all new fire box stays produced at Bridgnorth by the Severn Valley Railway’s engineering team.
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has caused slight delays to the project but we are very pleased to announce that the boiler is now complete. Having passed the necessary Hydraulic test on the 3rd of December the boiler was put into steam for the first time in many years on the 4th of December. The steam test was successfully completed on Monday 7th of December in the presence of the Boiler Inspector and Andy Sweet, one of the founder members of the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall Group.
The boiler is now painted and ready for collection from our works, bringing to an end a successful project that has been delivered on target and to budget. We look forward to seeing the progress at Bridgnorth with the locomotive’s overhaul, and its return to traffic soon.
From all the team at Northern Steam Engineering, thanks for giving us the opportunity to play our part in the overhaul of the Severn Valley Railway’s flagship locomotive."
Paul Hobson, Chairman of the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall Group, commented
"The successful steam test on 4930's boiler at Northern Steam Engineering is a momentous step in the overhaul of the locomotive and a superb result for all our long-standing donor "Friends" and supporters.
We are looking forward to the full reassembly of "Hagley Hall" and the increasing probability of 4930’s wheels moving under the locomotive’s own power in 2021. Thank you for your continuing support and watch this space!"
29 November 2020
An update of work in progress during the last week.
Some views of work on the bogie frame (upside down) showing the aligning bars occupying the eventual positions of the axles. These are being used to work out axlebox offsets.
One of the axleboxes set up on the boring machine. The shiny top thrust face is being machined.
Refurbished components of the steam fountain. This will be located on the top rear part of the boiler in the locomotive cab.
23 Nov 2020
We are delighted to announce that our friends at Northern Steam Engineering in Stockton, contractors for the overhaul of 4930’s boiler, have this afternoon lit the first warming fire in the firebox.
This is the first fire within 4930’s boiler since October 1986, when the locomotive was withdrawn from traffic on the Severn Valley Railway, a period of 34 years.
Dependent upon how testing progresses this week, it is probable that a hydraulic test may be carried out within the next two weeks.
The boiler dome cover is removed and therefore venting to the atmosphere as it is just the first warming fire after repairs completed, hence no gauge glass protector, etc.
Our thanks to Northern Steam Engineering for this photograph.
17 Nov 2020
The works at Bridgnorth is currently unusually empty which has enabled a rare side profile photo to be taken of the frames of 4930. The cab roof is visible just behind the boiler saddle. Also noteworthy is the new cylinder cladding now fitted to the locomotive, which has been fabricated and fitted by volunteers Alan Pincher and John Ordidge.
07 Nov 2020
Trying up the first newly-machined eccentric.
Left: Second eccentric strap set up on the borer, ready for machining. Right: First eccentric strap completed with the inside machined to fit eccentric.
Entire cab structure being trial fitted. Sides are new. Cab roof is original, but with some repairs.
Rear horn ties cross-tie fitted after rebushing to new size.
Note : The project staff now furloughed until November 19th.
21 Oct 2020
In recent weeks, work has been concentrated on completing outstanding tasks on 4930’s tender.
New brackets now in position for vacuum emergency valve and release valve.
Old and new breathers now back in position
Bogie centre casting now refitted. Inside the tender, placing the float bracket ready for welding. Float
arm temporarily affixed for positioning
Paid staff have commenced work on the locomotive driving axle boxes. Also the bogie frame and wheelsets are being measured. Fittings for the boiler have been delivered to Northern Steam Engineering at Stockton, along with washout plugs, whilst a set of grate components is being gathered together. Volunteers are currently manufacturing cylinder cladding and refurbishing the cab roof.
21 Aug 2020
We are delighted to be back with you following the enforced suspension of work due to the virus pandemic of the past few months. This has been a very difficult time for the project, and indeed for the Severn Valley Railway. Our long-held “2020 Vision” of 4930 Hagley Hall returning to steam this year now seems to have faded due to this unprecedented change in global circumstances.
On a more positive note, the project team have now restarted their work and have made progress over the past week. It has now been decided to initially concentrate on completing the final tasks outstanding on 4930’s tender, apart from final painting.
The vacuum cylinder and reservoir have now been fitted, and the tender tank is now back on the underframes.
Here, the vacuum reservoir is shown in situ, whilst the second image shows the vacuum cylinder for the tender brakes.
View of the cylinder and reservoir in position, and the reservoir from underneath the frames, showing the flange.
The vacuum cylinder from below, showing the piston rod. Work will now continue on fitting the new pipework which is already complete, fitting the water gauge, making a new breather for the tank, as well as several other outstanding tasks.
The current extensive restrictions on employment and travel as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic are having far-reaching consequences upon everyone. The heritage railway movement is being particularly hard hit, just as the season should be getting under way.
The restrictions are now impacting upon progress on the restoration of 4930, as the Government Policy upon unnecessary travel and social distancing tighten.
There is some good news to report. Just prior to the current restrictions coming into effect, the final crown stays, manufactured at Bridgnorth, were fitted to 4930’s boiler at Stockton. Also, the horn grinders completed their task at Bridgnorth.
Whilst the temporary restrictions on work are disheartening, we must all be mindful of our main responsibilities at present, that of STAYING SAFE, STAYING AT HOME, PROTECTING THE NHS, and AVOIDING ALL UNNECCESARY TRAVEL.
Please take a look at the SVR’s Appeal Page
We will be back with more news as soon as possible.
24 Feb 2020
New Crowns for axleboxes under way and the first refurbished horn tie complete.
Refurbished footplate dome headed bolts and the rear cylinder cladding fitting/renewal.
Oil pots cleaned and painted.
Complete safety valve casting.
Front plate and frame extension replaced on locomotive.
Tender vacuum cylinder on test.
08 Feb 2020
Following the recent cryogenic fitting of the valve liners to 4930’s new cylinder blocks, work has quickly continued by fitting the cylinder covers, various blanking plates and a pair of dummy valves (kindly loaned by 6880 group). On Wednesday, 5th February, the steam side of the cylinders and valve chests were then pressurised with water up to 300 p.s.i. without any leaks being detected. Hence, the new cylinder blocks have been pressure tested, and at the same time, the specialist welding repairs carried out to two of the four cylinder covers were also proven. Along with SVR’s own engineering staff, two BESTT (Boiler Engineering Skills Training Trust) trainees, on mechanical engineering placement at ESMP in Bridgnorth until September 2020, were also directly involved in this work. They will be able to include this unusual activity in their workshop training portfolios.
Another development has seen 4930’s new chimney casting delivered to Bridgnorth Works.
22nd Jan 2020
A visit to Northern Steam Engineering Ltd’s workshops at Stockton earlier this week shows the advanced stage of the restoration of 4930’s boiler.
New firebox lower door plate
View of foundation ring
New front tube plate, showing holes for small tubes, larger flue tubes and regulator rod.
Side plate showing side stays.
Interior of boiler looking towards firebox, showing tube plate and longitudinal stays. Boiler is currently on its side.
View from safety valve towards front tube plate. Side stays between inner & outer firebox.
Housing for regulator rod at firebox end.
Firebox tube plate showing palm stays to throat plate
General view of inner firebox
When completed, hydraulically and steam tested, the renovated boiler looks on course to be delivered to Bridgnorth during the Spring.
Our thanks go to Northern Steam Engineering for their assistance with our visit this week.
In a separate development at Bridgnorth Works on 21st January, the four valve liners were fitted to the locomotive cylinders. This procedure was carried out by specialist contractor, Black Country Cryogenics, involving the use of liquid nitrogen to deep freeze the components prior to fitting.
Elsewhere at Bridgnorth, work continues around the cab area of 4930.
A trial fitting of the cab sides is taking place.
Fabrication of the steel sheeting for the base of the cab floor is complete.
In the Machine Shop, the Steam Fountain/Manifold has been renovated……
……. together with the locomotive’s vacuum pump.
We hope that this News Update will serve to demonstrate the huge amount of work which is underway to complete the restoration of 4930 during this year, 34 years since it last steamed.
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall have worked tirelessly for over 20 years in their fund-raising efforts to return the locomotive to running order.
We are certain that you will enjoy seeing 4930 in action on the Severn Valley Railway in the future, but please bear in mind the huge cost involved in bringing this restoration to completion.
19 Dec 2019
4930’s Piston Rods have now been skimmed and the heads partially turned.
Trial fitting of columns, bridges and spindles on the new safety valve assembly are under way.
The new chimney pattern is now complete at Timsons Engineering Ltd., Kettering, and is now ready to be cast.
New Crown Stays are being produced at Bridgnorth Works. On the left are blanks awaiting CNC machining, whilst on the right are the finished stays.
The lower half of the smokebox door protector, and the deflector on which it sits have been replaced.
The new hinge-pin, and the start of the grinding of the 45 degree edge on which the smokebox door seals.
4930’s new elements have now arrived at Bridgnorth.
Refurbishment of the regulator stuffing box has started, and work is under way on the difficult task of welding a new rain channel into place on the Cab Roof Back Sheet.
03 Dec 2019
Today marks another milestone in the restoration of 4930. This morning, the new cylinders were lifted into their final position on the locomotive frames. A delay in the production of valve liners has resulted in the cylinders being reunited with the frames prior to the fitting of the valve liners. This has been done to avoid delay in other areas of 4930’s restoration, and the valve liners will now be fitted in situ when they become available.
Other components completed recently include:
A new Safety Valve stem.
Refurbished and repainted cab spectacle plate.
Tender Vacuum Cylinder and Cab Roof Back Sheet.
29 Nov 2019
4930’s new Gauge Frame is now complete and fully tested.
23rd October 2019
The planned removal of 4930’s new cylinder blocks from its frames has taken place over the past weeks. This scheduled activity will ensure that final adjustments to the frames are completed before permanent assembly. Removal of the cylinders has also simplified machining of the back faces in order to ensure proper seating of retaining nuts, and will facilitate easier fitting of the valve liners.
The expansion links, shown above, are now complete and ready for fitting. The eccentrics are now complete apart from the bushes, and in the machine shop, apprentice Harry Coates is hard at work producing new locomotive spring hangers for 4930.
Work on the boiler at Stockton is proceeding well, and ahead of its return an order has been placed for the manufacture of a new set of superheater elements’.
07 Aug 2019
Previous updates of the ongoing restoration of 4930 have tended to concentrate on the major components which have given a strong visual overview of the work already completed or under way. Over the past few months, in particular, considerable effort by permanent staff, volunteers and outside contractors has now been focused upon the refurbishment and replacement of a myriad of smaller, but nevertheless vital components. The photographs illustrate the extensive variety of tasks under way to ensure that progress is maintained prior to the return of the boiler.
Examination of the horns on the front bogie (upside down) is under way in readiness for axlebox fitting, metalling and machining of which has already begun.
Expansion Links, which have been trued up by an off-site grinding company, and new die blocks.
New gauge frame components, three sets, not just for 4930!
New Drawgear Pins Refurbished Vacuum Cylinder Covers
Locomotive vacuum brake cylinder and piston (30 inch diameter)
New backplate for the dragbox has been drilled. For comparison, the old backplate is below.
The intricate task of drilling holes in the new cabside sheets is now complete and running plate strips have now been bolted to them.
Holes have now been drilled in the new cylinder castings in alignment with the locomotive frames for the permanent bolts.
Max Green (right) discusses the new cylinder block exhaust passage stays with 4930 Project Leader Dave Fulcher-Insull. Fitting of the 20 stays took Max a total of 4 weeks. Note the trial fitting of cylinder cladding below the smokebox saddle.
A new tender floor plate has been fabricated and fitted.
In the CNC machining area, Alex Bradbury has been busy producing 400 steel firebox stays for 4930.
4930’s new locomotive dragbox arrived from the manufacturers on 5th August. No time was lost before a trial fitting of both the dragbox and backplate on 7th August.
In addition, the bodies of the injectors have been machined; the hydrostatic lubricator has been refurbished; and a start has been made on stripping down and assessing the spring hangers for the driving wheels.
Meanwhile, at Northern Steam Engineering in Stockton, work on the boiler is entering its final phase. The side plate shows the destination for some of the stays mentioned previously. (NSE Photo: Neil Taylor)
18 June 2019
This morning, 4930’s new cylinders, now coated in black paint, were successfully trial fitted to the frames of the locomotive. Whilst this is not considered to be the final fitment, it nevertheless demonstrated that the cylinders lined up with existing bolt holes in the frames with ease, and that the progress on the locomotive restoration is well under way.
13 Jun 2019
Another milestone in the restoration of 4930 has been passed today, following the delivery to Bridgnorth Works of the newly machined cylinder blocks.
The locomotive number has been cast into the metalwork of the new cylinders.
Other items in progress at Bridgnorth include continuing headway on the pipework on the underside of the tender.
Old sections of cylinder cladding have been retained to use as templates during the fabrication of the new cladding. Below, a new sheet is being undercoated in preparation for the work to begin.
Other sections of cladding are being refurbished and undercoated prior to refitting.
We regret to inform our supporters and readers that the Donate by Text facility in aid of 4930 has been discontinued. We thank everyone who has supported the restoration through donating via this method.
In its place, you can now donate via a simple contactless method on the concourse at Kidderminster Town Station.
27 May 2019
1929 was the year of the Wall Street Crash, which started the Great Depression of the 1930s, the year when the BBC broadcast a television transmission for the first time, the German airship “Graf Zeppelin” made a Round the World journey, and the cartoon character Popeye made a first appearance. At the end of May 1929, Britain held a General Election, the first Election in which women under 30 could vote. It resulted in a hung Parliament, with the Liberals holding the balance of power. In early June, Ramsay MacDonald formed a new Labour Government.
At the same time, the Great Western Railway works at Swindon was busy constructing new “Hall” Class locomotives on a production line, with 62 such examples (4908 to 4969) being manufactured that year, an average of over one every working week. During May 1929, 4930 was created at a total cost of £5,107, and exactly 90 years ago, was undergoing its commissioning tests and trials before being accepted for traffic during June 1929.
Ninety Years later, 4930 is again a kit of components, gradually being recreated into a working GWR “Hall” Class locomotive fit for many future years use in the 21st Century.
A return to traffic during 2020 remains the target, and currently, work is progressing well on several fronts to achieve this aim.
Machining of the two halves of the cylinder block at Harco Engineering, Brierley Hill, has now been successfully completed, and attention has now turned to machining the castings for the valve liners.
Work on the boiler at Northern Steam Engineering is also reported to be progressing very favourably.
At Bridgnorth Works, delivery of a new vacuum reservoir for the tender has taken place. No time has been wasted in applying a protective coat of black paint.
Fitted bolts and studs for holding the cylinder block and bogie pivot in position have now been manufactured in quantity.
Volunteers Alan Pincher, John Ordidge and colleagues are busily engaged in fabricating new cabsides for 4930, using the original panels as patterns.
They have also manufactured a new reversing box………
reformed and replaced wasted metalwork…...
as well as restoring and replacing some of the locomotive splashers…..
and refurbishing cabside handrails.
Work has also been under way in recent weeks to replace pipework and other components on the underside of the tender.
14 Mar 2019
A trial fitting of 4930’s two new cylinder blocks has taken place at Harco Engineering.
PHOTO : Harco Engineering
12 Mar 2019
Progress is being maintained on the machining of 4930’s new cylinders, as today’s photographs show.
Photographs courtesy of Harco Engineering.
8 Mar 2019
Another milestone was passed this week with the fitting of the new tender tank to 4930’s refurbished tender chassis, tangible proof that work on 4930 is now proceeding at full speed.
Within the works, 4930’s frames rest on new stands as restoration work continues.
A new cylinder racking plate, that fits across the locomotive frames where the cylinders are fitted, is currently being manufactured at Bridgnorth…..
….. whilst a number of smaller components have returned from cleaning using a chemical process.
The locomotive splashers are currently being renovated, and in some instances, replaced by new manufacture.
Apprentice Jacob Cox continues to laborious task of coating renovated components with protective layers of paint.
A new ashpan is currently being manufactured, together with new damper doors.
At Northern Steam Engineering in Stockton, impressive progress is being made on the restoration of 4930’s boiler.
Photo : Northern Steam Engineering.
22 Feb 2019
The intricate task of machining 4930Õs new cylinder blocks is now underway at Harco Engineering in Brierley Hill. Photographs, courtesy of Harco, show the work undertaken on the first block.
6th February 2019
During the past month, significant preparation work has been in progress on 4930 and whilst most of these tasks have been going on behind the scenes, this week has seen a visible milestone passed in the ongoing restoration, as efforts have been focused on re-wheeling the tender chassis. On Monday, two of the three wheelsets were replaced in the frames, and today, the third wheelset was re-united utilising the wheeldrop. Successful completion of this task was reliant on the efforts of both full-time staff, and volunteers, including the regular midweek volunteer gangs.
12 Dec 2018
At Northern Steam Engineering, work is starting on the reassembly of the boiler with new plate work being prepared for welding. During the preparation some cracking has been identified in some of the remaining original plate work which is being investigated in order to determine the appropriate remediation. Note that on the accompanying photographs, the boiler is shown upside down.
Early stages in the fitting of the new throat plate. Note that the foundation ring has been supported on a temporary scaffold-like structure in the absence of side plates and door plate.
11 Dec 2018
Work is progressing on several fronts as part of 4930’s restoration. At Bridgnorth Works, the locomotive main frames have had the spring hangers refitted with new pins, and various rivets have been replaced and repainted.
The bogie frame has been cleaned, examined and repainted.
4930’s tender frame is also receiving continuing attention. All hornblocks have now been refitted, and various time-expired rivets have been replaced. The trailing spring hangers have been refitted following insert welding to resolve minor fractures caused by wear and tear.
The main tender brake shaft is being prepared for refitting.
The axleboxes and brake gear have been cleaned and painted ready for trial fitting.
Hardwood has been obtained for the bedding of the tender tank on the frames.
30th Oct 2018
Today marks the start of widespread geographical reorganisation in the overhaul of 4930. In a carefully planned logistical exercise, the newly re-profiled locomotive wheels have been collected from the South Devon Railway Engineering Workshops at Buckfastleigh, and transported by road back to Bridgnorth Works, together with a newly pressed boiler backplate and throat plate for 4930.
Upon arrival at Bridgnorth, the wheels have been unloaded, and replaced on the road transport by 4930’s new cylinders, and those of the Dinmore Manor Group’s 3850, which are being transported to an engineering company in the West Midlands for machining.
The final part of this lengthy journey will see the new boiler platework continue its journey north to Northern Steam Engineering’s site at Stockton, where 4930’s boiler is currently under restoration.
27th Sept 2018
During the past 10 days, work has continued on 4930’s frames at Bridgnorth. The frames have been extensively painted following the shot-blasting, to protect them from rust. It was determined that the painting of the whole frame structure was beneficial at this stage even though several fitted bolts have been identified as being loose and will require attention in due course, which will disturb the black paintwork.
The brake hanger brackets have been refitted to the frames.
An order has now been placed with Harco Engineering Ltd., located in Brierley Hill, for the machining of the cylinder blocks.
14 Sep 2018
This week has seen some very arduous but necessary work carried out on the frames of 4930. Over a two-day period, the entire metalwork was sandblasted to remove all traces of grime and rust accumulated both during its time in traffic, and during the last 32 years out of active use. Immediately following this, the frames were given an initial coat of grey primer paint.
Volunteers have now begun to apply a coat of oxide paint as a protective layer
Work also continues, on the painting of dozens of other smaller components.
23rd August 2018
Our last update recorded that 4930’s driving and bogie wheels had been transported to the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh for detailed examination. The results of the measurements and assessment confirm that the locomotive does not require new tyres at present. The existing tyres have been turned to the required profiles.
At Bridgnorth, the bogie frame has been dismantled by a combined team of mid-week volunteers and paid staff. Work continues, on the cleaning, scraping, assessment, and painting of the numerous small components removed earlier in the overhaul. Various sections of the frames have been removed, particularly around the dragbox where it is known that some replacement platework will be necessary.
A meeting with representatives of the engineering company who will be engaged to machine the cylinders, along with those of GWR 3850, which were cast at the same time as those of 4930, has been carried out at Bridgnorth, together with members of the Dinmore Manor Group who own the 38xx. It is expected that the cylinder machining will take place towards the end of the year.
22nd July 2018
Following 4930’s frame lift on 14 July, the axleboxes were removed from the wheelsets on the following day. After heavy cleaning, 4930’s wheels were transported to the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh by road on 17 July, where new tyres will be fitted. Initial examination has already taken place. Work is now continuing at Bridgnorth to remove muck and grime from the frames, before other components can be removed.
15th July 2018
On Saturday 14 Jul 2018, A work party of volunteers succeeded in removing the six springs from below the driving wheels of 4930, together with the horn ties.
With this work completed, the locomotive was taken out into the yard, where the SVR’s steam crane was waiting to lift the locomotive frames, and place them on accommodation bogies. This will allow the driving wheels to be prepared for transportation to the South Devon Railway for re-tyring.
Opportunity was taken to rotate the frames by 180 degrees during the lift. This will enable easier setting up on the main lifting jacks in the works, when frames are eventually transferred to the jacks.
Many hands make light work…….!
On Sunday 15th July, all the axle boxes were removed from the axles and the bogie frames were dismantled. An initial cleaning of the inside of the wheelsets was undertaken. Measurements of key dimensions are being carried out today ahead of the wheels being despatched to the South Devon Railway.
Running as “4930”, Andy Poole crosses the finishing line at Country Park Halt after the 3 ½ mile run from Arley. GWR 7802 “Bradley Manor” proved superior to all the runners on the northbound leg, but Andy and all the other competitors put in very creditable performances over a gruelling course, and in high temperatures.
Both Andy Poole and Andy Stringer shed a few pounds during the race.
On Thursday, 28th June, runners will have the opportunity to pit their strength and endurance in a challenge to race the train on a 3 1/2 mile route alongside the Severn Valley Railway between Country Park Halt and Arley.
One of our Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall members, and working volunteers, Andy Poole, who has very recently qualified as a Locomotive Fireman, will be one of the runners. Andy plans to fire a steam locomotive over the first leg of the journey from Country Park Halt, then to run the return section in full fireman’s bib and braces! The only concession is that he will exchange his steel-toecapped boots for running shoes!
As Andy is running his section as part of a relay, with another fireman Andy Stringer also taking part, they will be using a historic single-line section token as a baton during the race.
Expected high-temperatures on the day will make this a gruelling challenge, and we all wish Andy, who will be running in support of the 4930 Hagley Hall Restoration Fund, the very best of luck.
Please support Andy, and the 4930 Restoration by Donating by Text. Text HALL29 with your £ amount to 70070
11th June 2018
The newly cast cylinder blocks for 4930 “Hagley Hall” have been delivered to Bridgnorth Works today. The cylinder castings, each weighing about 2½ tons, were manufactured at Shakespeare Foundry in Preston, Lancashire.
This is another significant milestone in the overhaul of 4930, which will drive the project forward.
8th June 2018
Work on 4930’s boiler at Northern Steam Engineering at Stockton is now gathering pace.
7th June 2018
4930’s new cylinders have been successfully cast at the foundry and are now awaiting delivery to Bridgnorth Works. This is expected to take place within the next week.
4th June 2018
Following the recent removal of 4930’s cab roof and cabsides, volunteers began removing the accumulated rust, coal and dust which had lain on the underside of the cab floor for many years. During this task, an interesting discovery was made, in the shape of a button from the tunic or overalls of one of 4930’s former drivers or firemen.
If we ever discover to whom it belonged, or how long it had been lying under the cab, we would be happy to return it to its owner !
3rd June 2018
Another recent Junior Club working day saw the enthusiastic youngsters return to Bridgnorth Works where they spent their time deep cleaning some of 4930’s brake components. Our grateful thanks go to all of them, and we look forward to their continued assistance as the locomotive’s restoration gathers pace.
22nd May 2018
On Saturday 19th May, volunteers at Bridgnorth Works removed the cab roof and cab sides from 4930.
1st May 2018
Work has commenced in stripping down 4930’s boiler at Northern Steam Engineering Ltd., the tubes having been previously removed whilst at Bridgnorth. The bottom three-quarters of the sides of the outer firebox have been removed, and will be replaced. The throat-plate rivets fastening it to the sides and barrel have been removed in readiness for its removal, along with the lower portion of the door plate, which is also expected to require replacement.
Meanwhile, confirmation has been received that the new cylinder block castings have now been poured.
The boiler from 4930 “Hagley Hall” departed from Bridgnorth Works by road this afternoon, destined for the workshops of Northern Steam Engineering Ltd. at Stockton. Prior to departure, the chimney of the locomotive was removed for safekeeping.
6 April 2018
Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall’s boiler is about to leave the Severn Valley Railway for overhaul, as the project to restore GWR “Hall” No 4930 to running order takes a major step forward.
The announcement was made by the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall, in association with the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust. The SVR has finalised a contract with Northern Steam Engineering Ltd of Stockton for an overhaul of the locomotive’s boiler. The boiler leaves the railway on 10th April, with work on the overhaul expected to start immediately, to allow a completion during summer 2019.
Speaking on behalf of The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall, Paul Hobson said, “This is an exciting development in our quest to return Hagley Hall to steam, and we would like to acknowledge the financial support we have received both from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and also from our loyal group of 4930 supporters. Many of these people have been regularly contributing funds to the restoration appeal in recent years, in anticipation of a return to active service of the SVR’s former flagship locomotive.”
The Charitable Trust’s director Shelagh Paterson added, “This announcement shows that the restoration project is progressing well. Alongside this development, we are delighted that the new cylinders for 4930 are about to be cast. These two schemes are clear evidence that Hagley Hall’s return to front line duties on the Severn Valley Railway is well under way.”
The SVR’s engineering services manager Neil Taylor said, “This is a strategic decision to accelerate the rebuild of 4930 which will mean that we can increase our fleet of Class 4 and Class 5 locomotives. I am also pleased that we’ll be extending our existing partnership with Northern Steam Engineering.”
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall welcome further donations and membership to complete the restoration. Donations can be made online at svrtrust.org.uk or using a mobile phone to text “HALL29” with your £amount to 70070.
15 March 2018
The polystyrene patterns for 4930's new cylinders have now been transported to the foundry for casting. The foundry is currently forming the moulds with the intention that casting should take place during week commencing 19th March.
Subject to successful casting, we hope to have the new cylinder castings on display at the Severn Valley Railway Open House Weekend in Bridgnorth Works on 7th/8th April.
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall will have their Sales Stand at the SVR Spring Steam Gala at Kidderminster on 16th/17th/18th March. Please call and see our sales items.
30th January 2018
We are delighted to announce that the polystyrene patterns for the casting of new cylinders for 4930 Hagley Hall have been completed at Premier Patterns following comprehensive design work by Stafford Road Design Ltd.
The patterns will shortly be making their way to the foundry for casting, and we are confident that 4930's new cylinders will be delivered to Bridgnorth in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, ultrasonic testing of 4930's driving and bogie axles has taken place at Bridgnorth today, as part of the locomotive overhaul programme.
A new series of dates for 4930 Working Parties will be announced shortly.
22nd December 2017
The year ends on a high note, with this photo having just been received from Premier Patterns, who tell us that our pattern for the new cylinders is in progress.
Also, volunteers have, in the last week, succeeded in removing all of 4930's brake rigging and hangers.
The 4930 Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall Group wish all our supporters a Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018.
20th September 2017
Throughout the Summer, design work for the new cylinder castings for 4930 has been moving ahead. The lack of original engineering blueprint drawings of early Great Western Hall cylinder blocks has been overcome by an innovative solution by Stafford Road Design Ltd. Their Facebook page has an interesting animation of valve timing in action.
Back-engineering the GW Grange Class cylinder blocks, which possess many similarities with those of early Halls, and comparison with the existing 4930 measurements has resulted in a replication of the present cylinders.
Design work is now complete, and is now subject of rigorous authentication and validation by an independent assessor.
The tendering process for manufacture of the polystyrene moulds used in the cylinder casting process, and for the metal casting of the new cylinders, is now under way.
The locomotive frames are likely to be stripped at Bridgnorth over the next three months.
18th September 2017
Our Sales Stand will be at Kidderminster Town station concourse on all Autumn Steam Gala days. Now is your chance to stock up on new 4930-branded winter clothing, and even early Christmas presents. Our main sales attraction is renowned railway artist John Austin FGRA's new commissioned work in support of the 4930 restoration project.
Both framed and unframed prints will be available during the Steam Gala Event. Please call and see us for this and other sales items, and for the latest news.
8th June 2017
Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the return to the Severn Valley Railway of 4930 'Hagley Hall', following its eight-year display at Swindon Outlet Centre. In an intricate operation on 7th June 2007, 4930 was winched out of its home inside the former GWR Swindon Works, and placed on a low-loader for the road trip back to Kidderminster.
Following an overnight stop at Allelys Heavy Haulage Depot at Studley, 4930's onward journey to Kidderminster incorporated a small diversion at Hagley, where, by kind permission of Lord Cobham, the locomotive made a short stop at the stately home after which it was named.
The next working party dates will be:
As before, all SVR members, who have completed volunteer induction, are welcome to attend. No specific engineering skills are required, but any you may have can be put to good use!
07 Mar 2017
In partnership with Severn Valley Engineering Services, a more detailed programme has now been formulated to take the ongoing restoration of 4930 Hagley Hall through to final completion.
It is intended to begin major work on the boiler at Bridgnorth Works towards the end of June this year, whilst work on the frames should begin at the end of September. As soon as the driving wheels can be removed from the frames, they will be transported to the South Devon Railway for the process of fitting new tyres.
During the past fortnight, specialist contractors have, under controlled conditions, removed all asbestos content from the existing cylinder block following the splitting of the two halves. The intention is now to create a 3D Computer Aided Design, which will be used to manufacture a new set of authentic cylinders to power 4930 through the 21st Century. This design work is currently in progress.
As these major areas of the restoration proceed, our volunteers continue to clean, refurbish and paint many of the smaller components necessary for refitting to the tender in due course.
Whilst the quoted dates are subject to the completion of other locomotive projects at Bridgnorth, there is a growing confidence that 4930 will be completed for the 2020 Season.
Please help to make this '2020 Vision' a reality by supporting our fund raising appeal. Text your £amount to HALL29 on 70070, or become a supporter by donating a monthly sum of your choice. See our website for detail.
Modelling the very latest in 2017 Season exclusive 4930 Corporate Workwear, our tenacious volunteers 'Petal & Co' pose for the camera.
The primary team leader will be Martin White.
No specific skills are required. Everybody welcome, as long as you are a current and fully inducted SVR working member. Please contact the SVR VLO if you wish to arrange an induction day. We look forward to seeing you!
The next planned dates for working parties during the "closed season" at Bridgnorth are:
Dates beyond the start of the running season will be published as soon as the rosters for loco crew become available, but will include Saturday 4th March.
As before, all SVR members, who have completed volunteer induction, are welcome to attend. No specific engineering skills are required, but any you may have can be put to good use!
During the winter closed season "office hours" apply, approximate hours are 0930 till 1630, but even if you can only spare a few hours within that time it would be appreciated. If bad winter weather is forecast please check here or with us to confirm it is still going ahead. We look forward to seeing you!
04 Jan 2017
As we enter the New Year, recent work on 4930's tender frame is nearing completion, with all new steelwork now riveted into position at the rear of the structure, and awaiting several coats of paint.
Meanwhile, Bridgnorth Works' painters have been hard at work transforming the new tender tank from red ochre to a more pleasant green undercoat.
Behind the scenes, research is under way to source original Hall cylinder block engineering drawings. Cylinder Block replacement will be a costly additional expense, but will ensure that 4930 will hopefully run for a further half century and beyond. Please support our continuing fund-raising, as work on the restoration enters several new phases during 2017.
31st October 2016
The work party on 30th October continued work on the rear of the tender chassis, preparing the area for painting. Using needle guns, the box sections were surface cleaned of any remaining rust and dirt, before application of the first layer of primer paint.
24 October 2016
The newly-constructed Collett-design tender tank for 4930 was delivered to SVR Bridgnorth Works today by road transport hauliers Prestons of Potto. Utilising the overhead crane situated in the Boiler Shop, the tender tank was soon transferred to a flat wagon for temporary storage. The delivery of the tender tank marks another milestone in the restoration project, and co-incides with the payment of £50,000 to the Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC by the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall. This amount covers the manufacture of the new tender tank, the new tyres on the tender wheels, and other work in progress. The 4930 Group are pleased to have been able to provide this financial package, thanks to the continuing support of the loyal membership, and all others who have contributed to our fund.
We have new items available on our Sales Stand at Kidderminster SVR Station during the Autumn Steam Gala between 4th - 6th November. Why not visit us and stock up on those Christmas presents.
19 Oct 2016
Photo: Dave Giddings
This week marks the 30th Anniversary of 4930's last steaming in October 1986, at the conclusion of seven years of front-line activity on the Severn Valley Railway, and after hauling numerous mainline charter services as far afield as Chester, Swindon, Andover, Cardiff and Plymouth.
One generation later, and with 4930 in its 88th year, restoration and complete overhaul of the locomotive is now firmly under way, and with the probability of it re-entering service around its 90th Birthday with a 10-year boiler certificate, it should remain in steam until its centenary in May 2029.
Much work remains to be done to 4930 at Bridgnorth, and the Group would welcome new volunteers to help with the tasks of cleaning and painting the many components awaiting re-fitting to the locomotive. Please contact GWR4930@yahoo.co.uk for further information.
Our fundraising effort at our sales stand, which will be present at Kidderminster Station during the SVR Autumn Steam Gala on 4th-6th November, is now further enhanced by our new 'Giving by Text' facility, which will provide a fast and easy way of supporting the 4930 restoration by means of a quick text message. As the casting of new cylinders is becoming a very real probability, every donation will make a real difference to our efforts.
01 Oct 2016
Work parties will take place on the following dates:
Sun 2nd October
Sat 15th Oct
Sun 30th Oct
Sun 20th Nov
Sun 4th Dec
The working parties are open to any SVR member who has completed the volunteer induction course. (Please contact the Volunteer Liaison Officer if you wish to arrange to attend an induction).
21st September 2016
Following our announcement earlier this year that the Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall had raised the landmark figure of £100,000 since formation in 1999, we are now even more pleased to report that we have now exceeded the figure of £110,000, thanks to the continuing support of our regular band of donors, and the continuing success of our sales stand items. This will significantly assist with the locomotive restoration, but further donations and financial assistance are required as work proceeds. Please help by becoming a regular donor.
Renovation and repainting of tender components continues during our volunteer sessions at Bridgnorth Works. Each item needs to be cleaned and inspected before repainting, which involves application of six coats of paint; 2 primer, 2 undercoat, and two top coats. Work on the spring hangers now being almost complete, attention will turn to the intermediate buffer and draw-gear.
The Group would welcome new volunteers to assist with cleaning and painting components during the volunteer sessions. No engineering skills required, just an enthusiastic desire to help return 4930 to working condition as soon as practicable. Please contact us for details on GWR4930@yahoo.co.uk
On Saturday, 10 Sept, a work party was successful in splitting the two halves of the cylinder block, to allow full examination of the condition of the interior passages. Subsequent inspection has, however, confirmed that the cylinders have been previously patched, and are therefore now considered to be beyond repair. Engineering drawings of early 'Hall' cylinders are now being sourced, and the likely way forward will be the casting of new cylinders.
Work on the tender frames has also been progressing, and repairs are now at an advanced stage. All remaining wasted metalwork at the rear end has now been removed, and fabrication of the replacement steel beams is imminent. Most of the tender chassis has now been given an initial coat of primer paint
It is understood that on completion of this work, the new tender tank will be delivered from its present storage location.
Please support our aims to return 4930 to traffic, both by donations or practical assistance.
17 Aug 2016
Following the fantastic progress made on 4930 during the last week, we now report more developments which move the project further ahead. Yesterday, during a test of the SVR's steam crane, the opportunity was taken to remove 4930's cylinders. Here, we see the operation in progess:
Today, with the cylinders removed, work to clean and prepare 4930's frames has already begun, whilst the riveting of the tender frames continues apace, with all new steelwork at the front end now firmly in position.
Recent weeks have witnessed much activity on 4930's restoration. Whilst volunteers have continued the tasks of cleaning, preparing and painting of stored tender components, workshop staff and apprentices are now riveting the new cross members to the tender frames, whilst the new backplates have been riveted to the existing tender steps. Following imminent refitting of the remaining new steelwork to the front of the tender chassis, attention can then turn to the rear end, where less renewal work will be necessary. Hornguides have also been milled ready for refitting.
In our Spring update, we were somewhat over-optimistic in the amount of time it would take to remove the bolts attaching the cylinders to the frames. These were very corroded, and the positioning of the remaining bolts has made it extremely difficult to access them with appropriate power tools. Added to this was the realisation that removal of some bolts first required the removal of the front bogie pivot casting. Upon examination, it was discovered that this component had at some time in the past been welded to the frames, but after attention by a welding torch, the pivot casting was removed early this week.
As a result of intensive effort by workshop staff including Ollie Huxley, Tony Pirie, Brian Humphries, and also the sterling work of Petal & Co, and at the culmination of a week of very difficult and problematic work, we are delighted to announce the final bolt holding the cylinder block to 4930's frames was finally removed late this afternoon. Jacking tests now confirm that the cylinder block is free, and ready for removal. Great work by all involved.
03 July 2016
The following dates are the next planned dates for working parties at Bridgnorth, open to any SVR member who has completed the volunteer induction course. (Please contact the Volunteer Liaison Officer if you wish to arrange to attend an induction).
Approximately 0930 - 1630, but even if you can spare just a few hours, it all helps. Martin White is the primary point of contact on site.
The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall are delighted to announce that the fund-raising in support of the restoration of the locomotive now exceeds £100,000. This milestone achievement has been made possible by a generous bequest from a long-standing supporter of the locomotive, and also from the continuing contributions from our loyal followers.
Fund-raising began in the late 1990s, with a view to raising the profile of the locomotive, and has continued through our Sales Stand, and by the support of regular donors.
Now that the restoration of the locomotive is under way at Bridgnorth Works, the Friends Group is in negotiations to make a sum available to cover some of the restoration costs already incurred. More details will be released over the coming months.
We continue to raise funds to cover the restoration and continuing maintenance of 4930 Hagley Hall, and welcome new members, and financial donations in support of this worthy cause. Please see the Membership page for details of how you can help.
On 30 May, a work party at Bridgnorth continued the task of cleaning and painting components from the tender, in preparation for eventual refitting. There are many items which require such attention, and further work parties are planned for Sunday 12 June and Saturday 18 June. The opportunities to help are open to everyone, subject to being a current SVR Member, and having undertaken the Volunteer Induction Course. No particular engineering skills are required, but if you have any, then all the better. Work will take place roughly between 0930 and 1630. Even if you can only spare a couple of hours, it all helps. Most of this work is messy, so come prepared! Please contact us on GWR4930@yahoo.co.uk
In recent weeks, volunteer work has concentrated on attempting to remove a cylinder cover which refused to budge. This was eventually successful. The arrival of "the heavy gang" today has seen another major burst of activity. Using the wheel drop facility, the front bogie has been removed, temporarily converting 4930 into an 0-6-0. This operation was performed in order to gain access to the underside of the cylinder block, and to release the bolts attaching the block to the main frames. During the course of the weekend, it is hoped that the majority, if not all, the bolts will have been released, bringing the task of removing the cylinder block much closer to fruition. At the end of the weekend work, the front bogie will be reinstated on the locomotive, to allow movement within the works. Our grateful thanks to all who have taken part in this weekend's work.
During the past month, volunteer working parties have removed the remaining piston and valve, and have also detached both crossheads and one of the slidebars. Work is now in progress to remove the heavily corroded bolts on the cylinder block.
Last week's work party succeeded in removing one of the pistons and valves from 4930.
Also, apart from a lick of paint, work on the third tender wheelset is now complete.
Of necessity, the main focus at Bridgnorth Works during November and through to the present, has been the need to maintain the operational fleet for the busy Christmas period, and to carry out pre-planned maintenance during the Winter 'closed' weeks in preparation for the new season. Despite these demands on workshop staff, volunteers have continued work on 4930, firstly by pressure cleaning the frames, and subsequently removing valve covers and releasing the valves and valve spindle rods. Front cylinder covers are now removed, and the cotter wedge has been taken out of the crosshead. Work continues on splitting the piston rods from the crossheads, and descaling the cylinder block.
Meanwhile, in the Machine Shop, the final wheelset for the tender has now been machined, including the journals, which were just being completed when pictured on 7th Jan.
During the last few weeks, work has continued at a steady pace on refurbishing the tender frames. The longitudinal beams at the front end have now been replaced by new steelwork, and when this is completed, attention will shift to similar work at the rear of the framework.
On 17th September, HRH Duke of Gloucester visited the SVR Bridgnorth Works, during which, Brian Humphries and apprentice Dean Parsons, who were working on 4930's tender frames, were introduced to him.
The Duke then went on to examine 4930's cylinder block, and cabside plating.
On 26th September, we were very pleased to receive further practical assistance from five enthusiastic members of the SVR Junior Club. Fully kitted out in overalls and PPE, they set to work under supervision, scraping accumulated dirt, grease, and general gunge from the running plates of 4930. This helps enormously in the task of cleaning components for eventual replacement on the loco, as well as providing the youngsters with practical work experience and knowledge of steam locomotive parts. We, and also they, are already looking forward to their next visit!
Yet more parts have been removed from 4930 by 'Petal & Co.' as their working week draws to a close. Over the past few days, they have removed all the running plates from the front end of the locomotive. Our thanks go to the team once again, for all the work they have done.
Meanwhile, in the Machine Shop, work has started on the tender bearings:
The last two weeks have witnessed remarkable progress in the locomotive overhaul. During the weekend of August 01/02, a working party of volunteers set to work on the unenviable task of removing the boiler and cylinder cladding plates, followed by the removal and disposal of the boiler lagging. Whilst the lagging material had no asbestos content, its removal was an unpleasant task which required full protective gear, as these three photographs by Nick Willcox show:
Following this bout of activity, other volunteers continued with part removal during the week, and on Saturday, the Heavy Gang, aka 'Petal & Co' arrived to undertake some of the more difficult tasks. They removed washout plugs on lower firebox, the steam heat pipe and brackets from under the ashpan, blowdown valve, and the damper linkages.
As a result of this work, 4930 was considered ready for the boiler to be lifted off the frames in an operation on 11 August.
Firstly, the cab roof was temporarily removed from 4930 in order to allow lifting capability for the overhead crane within the boiler shop. Bolts in the cab roof had already been removed on the previous day. 4930 was then taken from the works yard by Class 08 Shunter D3586, around to the Boiler Shop for the long awaited lift to take place.
Finally, the ashpan was removed. 4930 was then replaced in the Works Yard, where the intrepid team of Petal & Co will continue on parts removal during the next few days. A momentous week in the project.
Our thanks go to all those involved.
We are delighted to announce that major preparation work on the locomotive has just begun, with the removal of boiler cladding bands, and back head cladding. The intention is now to remove all boiler cladding and lagging from 4930 shortly. When this has been successfully completed, a work group will remove other components, prior to a boiler lift, which it is hoped will take place during August.
On other fronts, the second tender wheelset has now visited the wheel lathe, leaving only one remaining to be profiled.
The recent tender frame front end welding has been ultrasonically tested. Work is now continuing on cross members, and other tender frame components, including the steps.
We are also very pleased to report that the new tender tank has been completed at Adam Dalgleish Engineering, and a coat of red oxide paint has been applied for protection. It is now in temporary storage until the refurbished tender frames are ready to receive it.
The 50th Anniversary of the Severn Valley Railway was marked by a line-up of locomotives at Bridgnorth. Adorned with a Severn Valley Golden Jubilee headboard, this will probably mark the last occasion in which 4930 will feature in an official event before its imminent major overhaul.
It is now understood that the long-awaited restoration of the locomotive will begin in earnest within the next few weeks. Removal of components has already started. Boiler cladding will be removed shortly, prior to an anticipated boiler lift later in the year.
Today, 4930 was seen in the yard at Bridgnorth, paired with the immaculately restored lined black tender for 75069. If we were closer to April 1st, we could start a rumour!
The refurbishment of 4930's tender chassis took a major step forward today, as the new front-end frame sections, including the new drawbar, were welded to the original sections. Some further work is required to replace some other small sections of wasted metalwork, but today's activity marks a notable milestone in the restoration project, which can now move forward towards the expected arrival of the new tender tank in due course.
Further pictures of the almost completed new tender tank for 4930 at Adam Dalgleish Engineering at Stockton, courtesy of Ian Walker. It will not be completed until it comes to site at Bridgnorth when the sump will be fitted. This allows easy storage and transportation.
17 June 2015
We are pleased to report that the tender wheelsets for 4930 are now entering the machine shop at Bridgnorth Works for profiling. Work on the first set began on 17 June, with the others to follow in sequence. Meanwhile, the finishing touches are now being made to the new tender tank at Adam Dalgleish Engineering at Stockton.
31st March 2015
Work on the new tender tank for 4930 has been continuing at Adam Dalgleish Engineering at Stockton. These recent views show the progress made in recent weeks.
To summarise recent developments, all internal baffles fitted and welded, tank sides and extension fitted and welded, rear floor plate being welded this week, new beading fitted (this was sourced from a local rolling mill with tooling made to match a sample of the original). Coal space back plate to have new beading bent and fitted this week.
The next big job will be the fitting of the 'false' rivets to ensure that the tender is cosmetically correct !
27 Feb 2015
Work on the new tender tank for 4930 "Hagley Hall" has been proceeding rapidly at Stockton, and, as can be seen in the accompanying photos, the majority of the main structure is now complete. Our thanks go to Adam Dalgleish Engineering for the photographs.
11 January 2015
A positive start to 2015. Early January has seen lots of progress on the wheelsets for 4930's tender. As we reported earlier, the wheels are at South Devon Railway Engineering for re-tyring, and we are delighted to report that the first set (the trailing axle) was re-tyred at Buckfastleigh on Thursday 8th Jan, followed by another set on the following day. All three axles should be complete within the next couple of days. These are the first major components to be renovated as part of the 4930 restoration programme.
21st December 2014
Following our recent news from the North East of England that work has begun on construction of our new tender tank, further good news has now been received from the South West. 4930's tender wheels are currently at South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh for re-tyring. As the following photos show, the new tyres have just been delivered, and fitting to our wheelsets will take place early in the new year.
On 21 December 2014, committee members were at Arley Station to run the Christmas 'Roast Chestnut' stall, which annually boosts our funds for 4930's restoration. The weather was kind to us, and a good day was enjoyed, although trying to extract money from some staff became somewhat of a challenge...
As Christmas and the New Year approach, the Committee of the Friends of Locomotive 4930 would like to wish all their supporters and friends the compliments of the season, and look forward to your continuing interest in the locomotive's restoration during 2015. Hopefully, the New Year will bring more significant milestones as we move towards 4930's return to service.
The latest addition to our Sales items may even help to celebrate the New Year. We now have 4930 Hagley Hall tankards available in support of our fundraising. Wishing you a Happy Christmas, and Best Wishes for 2015.
18 December 2014
Work has continued at Bridgnorth, preparing components for welding to the tender chassis. In our last update, the new dragbox was shown in position at the front of the tender chassis, but this has now returned to the workbench, where apprentice Max Greene has been busy finishing the structure, and drilling the necessary holes in it.
Meanwhile, the new frame plates have now been temporarily welded in position ready for the impending permanent welding session.
Further good news has now arrived from Adam Dalgleish Engineering Ltd., of Stockton who are constructing the new Collett-style tender tank for 4930. Following many weeks work on the technical drawings, fabrication of the steelwork has now begun, as the following photographs show.
Our thanks to Adam Dalgleish Engineering Ltd., for the photos of work in progress.
17 November 2014
The newly fabricated replacement dragbox for 4930's tender is now complete, and has been placed in position for imminent welding to the frames. Work on the new front end frame plates is now well advanced.
Volunteers have also removed the locomotive's smoke box fittings.
19 October 2014
Our last update showed the component steelwork for 4930's new tender dragbox having just arrived. Rapid progress by the Bridgnorth Works staff during the last week now shows that the fabrication of the dragbox is well under way, and completion will result in another milestone in the restoration project.
15 October 2014
Continuing the recent excellent progress on 4930's tender at Bridgnorth Works, other component items of new steelwork have arrived in readiness for welding to the chassis, and the existing steelwork has been carefully prepared to accept the new sections.
The new drag box rear plate is on site...
...together with the new front buffer plate.
Now that all the tubes have been removed from 4930's boiler, the front tubeplate is now fully visible.
On Saturday 11th October, volunteers were joined by six enthusiastic members of the SVR Junior Club, who ably assisted in cleaning years of accumulated 'gunge' from the tender axlebox covers, and spring hangers.
We were delighted to see these young assistants who came along for the day. Under careful supervision, they were able to gain a useful understanding of the components on which they were working. Our thanks to the Junior Club for joining us. There is plenty more work to be done, so please come back whenever you wish!
25th September 2014
New front frame steel plates have now been delivered to Bridgnorth for the refurbishment of 4930's tender chassis, which has now been shot-blasted to allow further detailed examination of its structure. Other steel plates have been found to be in need of attention, and these will also be replaced during the restoration project.
It is also confirmed that the tender wheelsets, currently at the South Devon Railway for attention, are to have new tyres fitted to ensure that the "new" tender is of the highest possible standard when complete, and fit for many years of future service.
4th September 2014
Good progress continues on both locomotive and tender. The locomotive has had the header, blastpipe, and remaining steampipe removed, together with all flue tubes and many of the remaining small tubes. The saddle bolts have also been removed.
Tender wheelsets, removed during the lift on 9th July, have now gone to the South Devon Railway for attention. Meanwhile, following an assessment of the condition of the steel plate on the tender chassis, the front section including the dragbox and front stretcher bar have been cut away at Bridgnorth, and will be replaced by new steelwork.
Some of the steelwork wastage is evident in the photographs.
30th July 2014
Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of Kidderminster Town Station, and the reinstatement of passenger travel between Kidderminster and Bewdley. Together with LMS 5690 "Leander", 4930 "Hagley Hall" played a major role in proceedings during the day, hauling the re-opening special carrying official guests. It was also the first occasion that 4930 was united with a Collett tender, both loco and tender having received a repaint prior to this important event.
15 July 2014
During the work earlier this month to burn off the tube ends prior to removal, 4930 is seen alongside ex-Barry Scrapyard BR Standard Class 5, No. 73129, which is visiting the Severn Valley Railway this summer. In January 1973, both engines were in the same convoy leaving Barry, 73129 being detached from the SVR locomotives at Kidderminster for its onward delivery to Derby.
On 14 July 2014, a stock shunt was performed to allow road haulage access to Bridgnorth Yard for the removal of replica 'Catch Me Who Can', during which 4930 was unusually paired with Ruston Shunter D2961.
As replica of 1804-built 'Catch Me Who Can' awaits its road transport for its journey to the Dutch Transport Museum at Utrecht, 4930 is shunted in Bridgnorth Yard, alongside D1062. Note that the main steampipe of 4930 has now been removed. The Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall Group will be present at Bridgnorth on Saturday 19th July, during the SVR's 'Behind the Scenes' Day, to explain how the restoration is proceeding.
Good progress has been made in the past fortnight, on both locomotive and tender.
Group members have set to work on the locomotive, burning tube ends to allow removal of boiler tubes. All tube end burning has now been completed. Other components have also been removed for storage.
Removal of the first boiler tube on 5th July.
Major advances have taken place with the tender, now that the SVR's steam crane is again operational following its heavy overhaul. The steam crane was in use on 8th July, its first duty being to lift 4930's tender tank from the chassis. The tender tank has been examined and found to be unfit for further use, and it will now be stored pending disposal. A new Collett-design tender tank has now been ordered as part of the restoration project.
On 9th July, following a comprehensive repositioning of stock at Bridgnorth Works, and after initial de-scaling and rust-removal by volunteers, 4930's tender chassis frame was lifted from its wheels and placed on accommodation bogies. The tender frame has now been moved inside the works, where further activity can now begin in earnest. The wheelsets will now have their condition examined and assessed for further use.