7029 Clun Castle is the engine that started off the preservation era at Tyseley in 1968. It was saved for eventual preservation on the Dart Valley Railway, but after the withdrawal of all steam on the Western Region was kept at Tyseley for use on enthusiast specials. It ‘stayed on’ after all other steam activities had ceased and became the flagship locomotive for the Tyseley Collection giving its name to the collection’s owning company 7029 Clun Castle Ltd.
7029 was constructed by BR at Swindon in May 1950 as one of the last batch of Castles and entered service at Newton Abbot. A double chimney and a 4 row superheater fitted in October 1959. In its present condition it represents the final development of the class incorporating the modifications made in the 1950s. Outwardly, the only indication of enhanced performance is the double chimney, but internally the boiler has a four-row superheater and altered smokebox draughting arrangements.
Motive power depot allocations.
|May 1950||Newton Abbott|
|December 1956||Plymouth Laira|
|April 1957||Newton Abbott|
|July 1962||Old Oak Common|
7029 was the last Castle to remain in BR service and when it was withdrawn in December 1965 from Gloucester shed. Its final duty however, was to haul the 5:00pm Gloucester to Cheltenham train on the 1st January 1966.
Prior to withdrawal, in 1964 7029 achieved its finest moment at the head of an enthusiasts special commemorating the end of express steam working on the Western Region. On the descent of Wellington bank in Somerset, the locomotive achieved a top speed of 96 mph on the fastest ever recorded timing over the arduous route from Plymouth to Bristol. It hauled the last steam service train from Paddington in 1965 and was also the last steam engine to leave the former Snow Hill station with a passenger train.
Clun Castle was the last steam engine to haul a train from the original Moor Street station before it closed making way for the ‘new’ Moor Street station situated on the through lines to Snow Hill. This was the last train out of the original Moor Street station before it was closed.
Clun Castle the first steam locomotive to use the new Snow Hill station which was opened by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales who rode on the footplate through the Snow Hill tunnel to Moor Street and on to Tyseley where it has been based throughout its life since it was preserved.
It was bought for its scrap value of £2,400 by Patrick Whitehouse in 1966 but subsequently its ownership was then passed to 7029 Clun Castle Ltd.
Its first duties after being acquired by Patrick Whitehouse was to work local freight trains for several months. The first main line passenger train it hauled was to Didcot and back in June 1972.
The boiler certificate ran out at the end of 2001 and subsequently it underwent an overhaul at Tyseley Locomotive Works.
Clun Castle moved under its own steam again in October 2017 and undertook light and loaded test runs on the main line in February 2019.
In the summer of 2021 the locomotive was declared fit to run on the main line again after passing its independent insurance steam test. However, on the day the certificate was sent a steam leak was noticed in the smokebox which turned out to be a problem with the superheater header. This is an issue that Tyseley had never experienced previously. It wasd hoped to have the locomotive back in action in September 2021.
Clun Castle hauled its first main line railtour after its overhaul at the end of August 2021.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Tyseley||Operational||7029 Clun Castle Ltd|
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