REPATRIATED GWR 4-6-0 No. 4079 Pendennis Castle has been given a new coat of Brunswick green at its Didcot Railway Centre home in readiness for the high-profile visit of A3 Pacific No. 60103 Flying Scotsman on August 26-28.
The seventh of the first lot of 10 Castles built in 1923-4, No. 4079 was completed at Swindon Works on
March 4, 1924, and was allocated to Old Oak Common shed.
The Castle acquired fame the following year when the GWR loaned it to the LNER for trials to see how it completed against Gresley’s new A1 Pacifics, which included No. 4472 Flying Scotsman.
Running from King’s Cross to Grantham, and King’s Cross to Doncaster, it climbed from King’s Cross to Finsbury Park regularly in less than six minutes, a feat that the Pacifics could not match. Pendennis Castle was also proved to be more economical in both coal and water on the test runs.
Before returning to GWR service, No. 4079 attended the second British Empire Exhibition at Wembley between May and October 1925, and was displayed next to Flying Scotsman – with a notice proclaiming it to be the most powerful passenger express locomotive in Britain.
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