Heritage line debut for 'Pendennis Castle’

03 March 2023
Severn Valley Railway announces additional running day on Thursday April 13 for visiting GWR locomotive.

Main image: 4079 'Pendennis Castle' about to depart from Paddington on May 9, 1964. DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE

Operating excursion-style services, GWR 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’ is to run three-round trips in advance of its star appearance at the Severn Valley Railway Spring Steam Gala between April 14-16.

Using a different headboard for each trip, the day will loosely recreate three famous railtours that took place in the 1960s – the Birkenhead Flyer, the Zulu and the SLS specials, and will see the visiting locomotive paired with the SVR’s set of British Railways Mk. 1 maroon coaches.

It will mark the first ever heritage railway appearance for ‘Pendennis’, a remarkable milestone in its 99-year history, which included a lengthy stay in Australia then overhaul in the UK at its home base of Didcot Railway Centre.

GWR 4079 Pendennis Castle

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The excursion trips start in Bridgnorth and over the course of the day the locomotive will clock up 96 miles of running on the SVR before its starring role at the Spring Steam Gala, alongside GWR 'Small Prairie' 4555 and the SVR’s unrivalled home fleet.

“It’s a real coup to have ‘Pendennis Castle’ for our Spring Steam Gala,” said Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster, the SVR’s interim managing director. “But we also felt it deserved its own headline day, to acknowledge its remarkable first-ever heritage line appearance, and for the chance to recreate something very special from the past. Paired with our Mk. 1 coaches, it’s going to really look the part, and I know this is something enthusiasts will not want to miss.”

Tickets for the GWR 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’ excursion day are available now on the Severn Valley Railway website. Following its moment in the spotlight on April 13, the locomotive is scheduled to run for all three days of the Spring Steam Gala and tickets for this are also available on its website.


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