600 Gordon (WD 73651)

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Longmoor Military Railway 600 Gordon was built in December 1943 at the North British Locomotive Company’s Hyde Park Works in Glasgow as works number 25437. The locomotive, was named after General Gordon of Khartoum It was originally numbered WD 73651 for the War Department.

Although the 2-10-0 design was intended for overseas use, Gordon only saw wartime service in the UK. After the Second World War it was mainly confined to the Longmoor Military Railway where, numbered 600, it was used by the Royal Engineers as a driver-training engine. In 1957 during the Suez crisis, it is known to have worked highly secretive trains between Longmoor and Southampton.

Gordon was still the property of the British Army when the Longmoor Military Railway closed and was subsequently sold for non-military purposes. Following this closure, Gordon arrived on the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) in September 1971 on loan from The Transport Trust, accompanied by three vintage carriages.

It saw regular use in the early days of the SVR. In August 1975 it travelled to Shildon under its own power to attend the Rail 150 celebrations, and in 1980 it travelled in light steam to Bold Colliery from where it participated in the locomotive parade at Rocket 150 at Rainhill.

Gordon is one of only two steam locomotives on the SVR which are equipped to work with air-braked rolling stock. This facility was occasionally used in preservation, including in May 1982 when Gordon worked an incoming train of 19 wagons delivering 1,800 concrete sleepers. It was taken out of service in 1984.

The locomotive returned for another period of service in 1990 and operated on the SVR until 1998 when its boiler failed.

It remained Army property until July 2008 when, by then the last steam locomotive owned by the Army, it was donated to the SVR. Gordon is now owned by SVR(H) and as of 2016 is on display in The Engine House at Highley.

The return of the locomotive to steam again is seen as a long term project.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Severn Valley RailwayOn static display in the Engine House at HighleySVR(Holdings)plc
600 Gordon at Woking - April 1966.jpg
600 Gordon at Woking – April 1966
600 Gordon on the Longmoor Military Railway - July 1969.jpg
600 Gordon on the Longmoor Military Railway – July 1969
600 Gordon at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway in front of 3205 – 1972
600 Gordon on the Severn Valley Railway – April 1974
600 Gordon at the Stockton & Darlington 150th Anniversary – 1975
600 Gordon at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – October 1975
600 Gordon at Rainhill as part of the Rocket 150 cavalcade – May 1980
600 Gordon on the Severn Valley Railway – September 1993
600 Gordon on the Great Central Railway – August 1996
600 Gordon in the Engine House at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway – March 2015

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