Re-commissioning ceremony of steam locomotive 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley

The completion of the £1million overhaul of LNER A4 No 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley will be celebrated with a short ceremony in Kidderminster on Thursday 21 April 2022.

The A4 will then resume revenue service and haul trains during the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Steam Gala, taking place from 21-24 April 2022.

Sir Nigel Gresley is the “brother” locomotive to world record holder, Mallard (currently cosmetically restored at the National Railway Museum in York) and is now the only A4 locomotive currently in service following the decommissioning of 60009 Union of South Africa in 2021 Other members of the class are unlikely to return in the next few years, and some will never smoke again.

4498 (or BR number 60007) will perform at the Gala before being transferred to Locomotive Services Group in Crewe where it will be prepared for the main runs from May.

Credit: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

SNG’s overhaul began in 2015 and was completed in March 2022 before a break-in period at Severn Valley Railway.

While currently in LNER Wartime Black livery, it will be repainted in BR Express Passenger Blue later in 2022 and renumbered to 60007.

Nigel Wilson, Chairman of the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust, owner of No 4498, said: “The event marks the return of our popular Class A4 locomotive following the tremendous efforts of our team of mostly volunteer engineers. This overhaul is probably the most comprehensive the locomotive has ever had. Thank you to everyone involved and the results of this hard work are now within everyone’s reach. We are also very grateful to the SVR for hosting us for the very important functional tests.

SVR Managing Director Helen Smith said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome this iconic locomotive to the railway for its trial runs over the past few weeks. We’re thrilled he’s sticking around to make an exclusive appearance at our Spring Steam Gala, where we know he’ll be hugely popular. I would also recommend visitors take the opportunity to visit The Engine House in Highley, where Sir Nigel Gresley’s famous top hat is on display.

Jose P. Rogers