Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s fleet to be joined by steam locomotive 75014 Braveheart!

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s fleet to be joined by steam locomotive 75014 Braveheart!

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway will be adding guest locomotive 75014 Braveheart to the railway’s resident fleet for the first three months of the 2023 season.

The locomotive, coming from the Dartmouth Steam Railway in Devon, will make its way to Toddington in early March, departing after the railway’s Cotswold Festival of Steam, which takes place 12-14 May. Braveheart’s visit will mark the first-ever time a member of the class has operated on the line in their retained capacity.

No. 75014 was built in December 1951 by British Railways (who had recently been nationalised) at Swindon Works as part of 80 of the Standard 4 Class built there from 1951 to 1954. The locomotive worked at a number of London Midland and Western Region depots and later worked the Cambrian route between Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth and Barmouth. Withdrawn from service in December 1966, 75014 was sold to scrap dealers Woodham Brothers in Barry in 1967, where it stood until 1981 and was fortunately bought by a group of preservationists on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

On the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 75014 was restored to mainline standard and later operated as the ‘Jacobite’ service operating between Fort William and Mallaig in the West Highlands of Scotland. The locomotive was named Braveheart in celebration of Mel Gibson’s film which was filmed in the West Highlands.

In 2002 Braveheart was purchased by Dartmouth Steam Railway where she is a resident locomotive.

British Railways Standard Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75014 Braveheart // Credit: GWSR

Richard Johnson, Chairman of GWSR Plc said: “This will be a very welcome three month addition to GWSR’s locomotive fleet and we are very grateful to the Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Company for making their locomotive available to us.

“It fills a gap left by Great Western 2-8-0T No. 4270 built after the expiration of its boiler certificate in January of that year and prior to the 1905 underhaul, No. 2807 returns to service later in the year.

“75014 is indeed a perfectly suitable locomotive for our railway as other members of the class worked regularly on our route and in the wider Cheltenham and Gloucester areas during the 1950s and 1960s.”

The class, given its local credentials, makes an excellent choice to join the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railways home fleet, especially as May’s Cotswold Festival of Steam has the theme of ‘Cheltenham & Gloucester Steam Days’ for 2023.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway will resume running on the weekends from March 4th and will operate a number of special trains during the Cheltenham Festival from March 14th to 17th. Tickets for the special trains are only available through Classic Hospitality.

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