New Saint ‘unlikely to go main line’

WHILE the Great Western Society has built its new Saint 4-6-0 No. 2999 Lady of Legend to main line standard, it may never see action on the national network.

GWR Saint 4-6-0 No. 2902 Lady of the Lake powers through Acton with a Birmingham express as depicted on an Edwardian hand-coloured postcard. It now seems that its modern-day sister, No. 2999 Lady of Legend, will not be having similar exploits on the main line. GWS

It was in 1974 that No. 4942 Maindy Hall – a representative of the class that was developed from George Jackson Churchward’s Saint 4-6-0s – was acquired with the aim of back-converting it to become a Saint.

Lady of Legend is now six to eight months away from its first steaming at Didcot Railway Centre, said GWS chairman Richard Croucher. However, it seems it is destined for a career on heritage railways.

“One of the reasons why we may not run the Saint on the main line is because of the current concern about two-cylinder locomotives and gauging issues,” said Richard.

“It’s probably likely that it will go out to hire on heritage lines,” he said.

“We would like people to come and enjoy it and the best places are the lines in GW territory.

“It has been built to main line standard, but we have no plans to fit ETRMS equipment to the Saint at the moment.”

He said that ETRMS has been fitted to GWR 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II, and that No. 4079 Pendennis Castle will be similarly equipped.

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