By Paul Appleton
GWR 0-6-0PT No. 7714 has made its first loaded test runs at the Severn Valley Railway and is set to make its public debut during the line’s busy festive season.
Having just missed out on the SVR’s Season Finale gala – where it was due to star alongside fellow returnee 0-6-0ST No. 813 – due to the late delivery of smokebox components, the 1930-built machine ran in top-and-tail mode with Churchward small prairie No. 4566 between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade on Friday, December 2.
Four return trips were successfully completed with the two BR black-liveried locos suitably matched with six red and cream BR Mk.1 coaches. The Kerr Stuart & Co-built pannier tank suffered no
ill effects and is now being rostered to work trains on the run-in to Christmas. Limited to six Mk.1 coaches at the SVR, No. 7714 is unable to handle the heavy Santa trains, but will see use on midweek Christmas lunch trains.
It is also planned to give No. 4566 a suitable send-off, as its boiler ticket expires on January 2, by double-heading with No. 7714 on full line trips on selected festive season timetabled services between Boxing Day and then. For details visit www.svr.co.uk
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