No main line for blue King yet

WORK on blue-liveried 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II at Didcot Railway Centre has reached the stage whereby the engine is virtually ready for main line running.

However, it has been stated in the Great Western Society’s magazine, the Great Western Echo, that it has been agreed the aim of running the engine on the main line should be postponed for the time being.

GWR 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II at Didcot during a photo charter in 2017. JOHN TITLOW

Among the reasons given is the length of time left on the boiler certificate and the general turmoil within the steam charter business.

The next major step in the King’s future is, it was understood, a move to the Severn Valley Railway where the 4-6-0’s steaming qualities are to be tested under progressively-increased loading conditions.

A similar move to the West Somerset Railway was contemplated 10 months ago but the plan had to be abandoned when the engine’s axle loading was considered too heavy for sections of the heritage line’s track.

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