Legendary ‘Castle’ No. 7029 Clun Castle returned to steam for the first time in over a decade at a special recommissioning ceremony on October 28.
Invited guests assembled at Tyseley Locomotive Works to witness the Collett 4-6-0’s first moves under its own steam since 2001. Moved into position on the works’ turntable, the locomotive was officially recommissioned by the family of Tyseley's works manager Alistair Meanley, who unveiled the ‘Castle’s’ nameplate.
Throughout the day, Clun Castle steamed up and down the Tyseley demonstration line, double-heading with classmate No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. No. 7029 will take the latter’s place as the flagship of Vintage Trains’ main line fleet when No. 5043 comes out of ticket next year.
After the public unveiling the following day (October 29), the four-cylinder locomotive will begin extensive testing at Tyseley Locomotive Works ahead of a series of main line running-in trials early next year.
Clun Castle’s first revenue-earning main line tour for 30 years is expected to be Vintage Trains’ Tyseley-Chester ‘Shropshire Express’ on March 31 2018. It is planned to follow this up with a Tyseley-Oxford via the Golden Valley ‘Cotswold Explorer’ on April 21, also on behalf of Vintage Trains.
You can read more about No. 7029’s return to steam in the next edition of Steam Railway, on sale Friday November 3.