The South Devon Railway is delighted to be adding Great Western Railway 0-6-0 Pannier Tank locomotive No. 6430 to its fleet of operational steam locomotives.
6430 has been at the SDR for contract repairs, and an agreement with the private owner of the loco has been made that will see it be based at the South Devon Railway for the remainder of the current 10 year boiler ticket, which expires in February 2025.
6430 is of course no stranger to the South Devon Railway, having originally been bought by the Dart Valley Railway as a source of spares for 6412 and 6435, being towed from the John Cashmore scrapyard in Newport to the DVR by sister loco 6412 in 1966. The locomotive was sold on in 1989 and restored by owner Hugh Shipton, requiring many parts to be made for the locomotive as they had been stripped off and used to keep other locos going. 6430 first returned to steam in 2003, and the locomotive is now in its second “ten-year” boiler ticket.
The loco has visited the SDR on a number of occasions since returning to steam, and will be a popular and well-suited locomotive for use on the branch. The SDR is still of course home to sister locomotive No. 6412, and we look forward to seeing the two locos together again over the coming years.
The contract repairs to 6430 were completed during December and successful test runs were carried out on Christmas Eve, meaning 6430 will see its first use on SDR services over the Winter Steam Gala, billed as “Mince Pies, Manor and More” where it will star alongside visiting locomotive No. 7820 “Dinmore Manor” and home fleet locomotive No. 1369.