By Paul Appleton
AMID a plethora of End of Southern Steam 50th anniversary events marking the end of an era on BR’s Southern Region in 1967, the Severn Valley Railway’s September 21-24 autumn steam gala will have an appropriate Sunny South flavour.
SR Schools class 4-4-0 No. 926 Repton will be making its first appearance on the line in full Southern Railway olive green livery, having appeared at the railway’s 2004 autumn steam gala in lined BR green livery as No. 30926. It is also the first Maunsell V class to appear on the line since No. 925 Cheltenham was part of the roster for the autumn 2013 event.
Repton is currently approaching the final stages of its full 10-year overhaul at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and should undergo running-in on the railway in July prior to re-entering service. The overhaul is to main line standards so it can work on the NYMR’s extended services to Whitby and between Grosmont and Battersby on the Esk Valley line.
The locomotive has an unusual history following its withdrawal from Basingstoke in December 1962, after almost 29 years’ front line service.
Having found its way to Barry scrapyard, it was subsequently purchased privately and restored at Eastleigh by 1966, before being exported to Steamtown in Vermont, USA. From here the locomotive was loaned to the Cape Breton Steam Railway in Canada where it was given certain modifications to meet exacting North American running conditions, including a cow catcher and higher sides to its tender.
In 1989, it was sold again and repatriated to the UK, where it was returned to steam, and a more familiar British outline, on the NYMR.
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