We are delighted to announce, thanks to our friends at the Llangollen Railway, that 6430 is the first confirmed visiting locomotive for the Golden Anniversary Steam Gala, 6-14 April 2019!
Above: 6412 hauls 6430 across Exeter West Junction on their way to the Dart Valley Railway in June 1966.
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6430 was built at Swindon in 1937 and spent most of its working life in South Wales. It was withdrawn from its final shed, Yeovil, in October 1964 and sold to John Cashmore Ltd as scrap, but immediately re-sold to the Dart Valley Railway as a source of spares for 6412 and 6435. It was towed to Buckfastleigh by 6412 in June 1966.
Throughout much of its time on the Dart Valley Railway, 6430 was out of sight, painted in red oxide primer, which turned progressively more pink with age and wear. Eventually, with no hope of her being restored, she was put up for sale. It was bought in 1990 and spent some time undergoing restoration at Long Marston MOD depot, along with 5199, before moving to Llangollen in 1996.
The loco had unfortunately lost many parts to other engines. Repairs to its cracked cylinder blocks were tackled by the SVR during 1996, and new pannier tanks were fabricated and fitted at Llangollen. Manufacture of new axleboxes and re-wheeling took place in April 1998. New motion parts, coupling and connecting rods were cast and machined to size, whilst other parts were found elsewhere and purchased. A major problem was the badly corroded state of the boiler, which necessitated a completely new boiler barrel being made and fitted to the existing smokebox and firebox.
6430 first moved under its own steam came in December 2003. Work to finish of the locomotive continued, and it undertook a successful trial run along the whole length of the Llangollen Railway in February 2004.
We all look forward to greeting 6430 next year!