4920 Dumbleton Hall

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Built in Swindon in March 1929 at a cost of £4,375, including £1,167 for the boiler. Its first shed allocation was at Old Oak Common but later to Oxford where it was fitted with a reconditioned 3500 gallon tender until 1939 instead of a standard Collett 4000 gallon tender because of Oxford’s ancient coaling stage which could not handle the larger tenders.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Reading
June 1953Taunton
December 1958Newton Abbott
April 1960Plymouth Laira
December 1963Old Oak Common
May 1964St Philips Marsh
July 1964Bristol Bath Road

After spending some years at Cardiff and Reading, 4920 worked from Taunton shed for much of the 1950s before transfer to Laira shed in Plymouth. After travelling 1,396,966 miles, Dumbleton Hall was withdrawn in 1965 and sent for scrap to Woodham’s scrapyard in Barry, South Wales, becoming the longest serving member of the ‘Hall’ class outliving most of her classmates on the main line by at least two years. It is also the oldest ‘Hall’ class locomotive to survive into preservation.

4920 was rescued by the Dumbleton Hall Preservation Society in 1974 and restored at Buckfastleigh by 1988.  

It was too heavy to work on the Buckfastleigh to Totnes line (then called the Dart Valley Railway but later the South Devon Railway) so it did not enter service until 1992 when it was moved to the Dartmouth Steam Railway. It worked there until 1995 after which it spent the following year at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. In 1997/1998 it operated on the West Somerset Railway and then spent most of 1999 on the Nene Valley Railway before returning to the South Devon Railway in September 1999.

The locomotive was taken out of service in November 1999 when the boiler certificate expired having only run for 37,000 miles after being restored.

4920 was then out of service and in store at Buckfastleigh and was not expected to get an overhaul until 2018 which is almost 20 years since it last steamed.

Although the locomotive had been placed under cover no place in the overhaul queue for the locomotive had been established by the end of 2018.

In December 2020 it was announced that the locomotive had been sold although the new owner was not disclosed. This will result in the locomotive leaving the South Devon Railway where it was regarded as being too large for regular use on the branch line. It is anticipated that the locomotive will have a major overhaul in the future as it has not steamed for over 20 years.

It has been suggested that the locomotive is now owned by David Smith who is the chairman of the West Coast Railway Co based at Carnforth. The locomotive left the South Devon Railway in February 2021.

In January 2022 it was disclosed that the locomotive was on its way to Japan where it will be displayed as Hogwarts Castle at the new Warner Bros Studio Tour. Prior to this it was cosmetically restored at Carnforth.

The Warner Bros Studio Tour in Toshimaen is due to open in 2023.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Warner Bros ToshimaenNot yet on display
4920 Dumbleton Hall in an ex works state at Swimdon – April 1962
4920 Dumbleton Hall at Old Oak Common shed – Date unknown
4920 Dumbleton Hall waits to depart from Bristol Temple Meads with a Bristol to Weymouth train – November 1963
4920 Dumbleton Hall leaving Bristol Temple Meads station heading for Weymouth – May 1964
4920 Dumbleton Hall arrives at Bristol Temple Meads witha train from Taunton – June 1964
4920 Dumbleton Hall on Bristol Barrow Road shed – September 1965
4920 Dumbleton Hall in Woodhams scrapyard at Barry – May 1975
4920 Dumbleton Hall at Buckfastleigh – July 1976
4920 Dumbleton Hall at Torbay on the Dartmouth Steam Railway – August 1994
4920 Dumbleton Hall at Kingswear on the Dartmouth Steam railway – July 1995
4920 Dumbleton Hall on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway – April 2009
4920 Dumbleton Hall at Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway – September 2016

4920 Dumbleton Hall at Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway – September 2016

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