Update on Steam Locomotive 7027 Thornbury Castle and Night Owl 4709

The 4709 Group has sent RailAdvent an update on procedures regarding 7027 Thornbury Castle and their new construction project 4709.

The group, which bought 7027 Thornbury Castle last month much to the shock of the rail community, says it’s not the end of the road for the Castle locomotive.

7027 Thornbury Castle Boiler should be used in 4709 to complete the locomotive, then the parts could be used in a new Star Locomotive.

Once the plans were revealed, former owner Jonathan Jones-Pratt announced his intention to buy the locomotive and return it to steam.

The cost of rebuilding 7027 Thornbury Castle has been estimated by the 4709 group at £2 million, funding for which the group says it has been absent and progress has been slow.

Meanwhile, progress on 4709 saw work on the locomotive cylinders, pony truck and extension frames at Tyseley Locomotive Works.

It is hoped that the work will allow 4709 to be running in the coming months and possibly with the boiler at 7027 Thornbury Castle in the same time frame.

Great Western Society chief executive Clive Hetherington said; “We do not see the purchase of Thornbury by Group 4709, to use its boiler in the recreation of a unique Churchward 2-8-0, as the end of the road for Thornbury Castle.”

“The boiler will be serviced and used immediately. They may be out of print, but the remaining components of Thornbury are something of a treasure to be preserved. They will be inspected, protected for safe keeping and stored until we decide what to do with them.

“However, there is no question of the GWS launching another build program as long as we have many of our existing locomotives to overhaul.”

“So our first priority is to use the boiler to complete 4709. This is a huge time and money saver that we really want to capitalize on.

“The arrival of the serviced boiler could fit well with the project schedule,” adds Clive. “We plan to run the 4709 in the coming months. It will happen, but now it is possible that we will also see the boiler entering this period. »

Jose P. Rogers