‘Blue King’ passes blastpipe and draughting tests by the sea

GWR 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II has successfully passed tests on its new blastpipe and modified draughting during its extended summer loan period to the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

Great Western Society engineers carried out the tests over the weekend of September 29-30.

The ‘Blue King’ successfully handled a 420-ton load comprising 11 coaches plus a ‘dead’ Class 25 diesel out of Kingswear and also managed a pull-away from Greenway Halt from a standing start without difficulty.

Originally No. 6023 was planned to operate mainly during the shoulder season in September and at two special occasions.

GWR 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II heads above the landmark Goodrington Sands beach huts back to Paignton during its blastpipe and draughting trials on September 29. GWS

However, due to the failure of one of the Dartmouth Steam Railway locomotives, No. 6023 has ended up operating just under 60 days and continuously since early August with the exception of two days. It has covered around 3300 miles.

GWS chairman Richard Croucher said: “We would like to thank the Dartmouth Steam Railway for giving us the opportunity to work the King to its full potential – we may not have been able to climb Hemerdon or Dainton this time, but Greenway bank was a good substitute.”

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