6880 Betton Grange

Although the first withdrawn of the class took place in 1960 many remained in service for a few more years with the last withdrawal being in 1966.

The 6880 Society was formed in 1998 with the sole intention of recreating a Grange class locomotive. 6880 was chosen as it would have been the next number to be used by the GWR if another had been built. It will be called Betton Grange.

The new build project is based on the Llangollen Railway and progress to date is shown below.

Both the main frames and the cab for No. 6880 were newly fabricated, with cutting commencing in September 2004.

In 2005 the society acquired the boiler from 7927 Willington Hall. The frames and wheelset from the Hall have been retained by Didcot Railway Centre to build a GWR 1000 County class, another class of GWR locomotive which was not preserved. The society also acquired the spare tender frame from 4936 Kinlet Hall.

In 2010 the society bought 5952 Cogan Hall from the Cambrian Railway Trust. The long term aim is to fully restore this locomotive to operational condition, but in the short term the society have borrowed its bogie and tender for the Grange project, to speed the project to a successful conclusion.

Project milestones

  • 1998: Project started
  • 2004: Frames cut
  • 2005: Fabrication of new cab completed
  • 5 March 2012: Footplating secured to frames and painted
  • April 2012: “Steel Steam & Stars III” gala
  • 8 April 2013: The locomotive’s frame is fitted with its driving wheels.

The pistons have been removed from 5952 and are being refurbished at Tyseley.

By the end of 2016 work had progressed to the stage where a boiler from 5952 Cogan Hall was lifted onto the almost complete bottom end of the new build Grange. The boiler that it is planned to use when Betton Grange is steamed for the first time is being provided by 7927 Willington Hall. The overhaul of the Willington Hall boiler has been contracted out to Tyseley and is scheduled to be complete in April 2018. The hope of the group working on the new locomotive is that it will then be able to steam for the first time in the autumn of 2018.

It is planned that the locomotive will be cosmetically finished off so that it can participate in the open days at Tyseley Locomotive Works in June 2017.

The boiler is expected to be back at Llangollen in May 2018.

By November 2017 it was thought that the locomotive would be steamed for the first time in 2018 and enter service in early 2019. The aim being to put the first fire in the locomotive in October 2018 so that it can move under its own steam by the end of 2018.

The locomotive will originally run with the tender from 3814 until it has its own new built tender.

In June 2018 the locomotive was moved from Llangollen to Tyseley so that its boiler could be fitted.

Once operational the locomotive is likely to not venture away from the Llangollen Railway for the first year whilst any issues are sorted out.

6880 at Llangollen-2014.jpg

6880 in Llangollen works-2014.jpg

6880 Betton Grange under construction in the works at Llangollen -2016

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