By agreement between the West Somerset Railway plc and its principal supporting charity, the West Somerset Railway Association, GWR loco 9351 has been moved by road from Minehead to the WSRA’s restoration base at Williton for final reassembly of the locomotive to take place.
Locomotive 9351 was built for the GWR in 1934 and ran on the West Somerset Railway after it was first restored in 2004. That restoration included conversion from a 2-6-2 tank engine to a 2-6-0 tender configuration. 9351 came out of traffic in 2015 for a heavy overhaul which has been proceeding steadily since then. At their meeting on 14 January 2019 the WSRA Trustees agreed to carry out the remaining work at the charity’s expense, using their own staff, BESST scheme trainees and voluntary labour. Volunteers wishing to help with this work would be very welcome and should contact the WSRA.
Fortunately, a tender from another locomotive had also to make the same journey by road from Minehead to Williton and the part-completed locomotive was transferred as part of the same movement on 19th January. The locomotive is expected to return to service in May 2019 in time for the WSR’s peak summer season.
The WSRA are pleased to be able to offer this assistance to the WSR plc in accordance with their charitable objects and the WSR plc is looking forward to having another of its home fleet return to traffic following the recent return of loco 7828 Odney Manor. The line should have a fine stable of steam locomotives for the 2019 season which starts on 29 March 2019.
Jonathan Jones-Pratt, Chairman WSR plc
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman, WSRA