6023 "King Edward II" at Didcot Railway Centre // Credit Didcot Railway Centre

The Didcot Railway Centre (DRC) has released the plans for steam locomotive GWR King Class No. 6023 “King Edward II”, which include visits to heritage railways around the UK.

Will 6023 be running on the Mainline?

6023 "King Edward II" on its way to the Old Oak Common Open Day // Credit Didcot Railway Centre
6023 “King Edward II” on its way to the Old Oak Common Open Day // Credit Didcot Railway Centre

Didcot Railway Centre has said that 6023 will not be returning to the mainline on its current boiler ticket. This is due to a number of problems, from issues with the engine itself to the cost and conditions needed to allow 6023 to operate on the mainline.

The current plan is run 6023 on heritage lines. This will gain income revenues which can be used to speed up the next overhaul on the king. This is due in 2020.

It is hoped in the future that 6023 will run on the mainline, after its next overhaul. Didcot Railway Centre will maintain the king to mainline standard, allowing 6023 to be ready for mainline running if the situation arises.

Which heritage lines will 6023 be visiting?

In February, 6023 will be taken by road to the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), where the king will undertake work to revise draughting, with tests on the line to follow. If these test prove successful, 6023 should be taking part in SVR’s Spring Steam Gala in March and also operate a number of regular train services. 6023 could possibly, subject to agreement, be attending the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway in May, for their Gala.

  • The King will star at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire railways May Gala with Homefleet GWR 28xx no 2807 which was saved from Barry Scrapyard by my grandad And some of his fiends as well as GWR Modified Hall 6959 no 7903 Formarke Hall plus GWR 4200 Prairie 2-8-0T no 4270 first gala since work at Crewe Heritage Centre in Nov 2017 to March 2018 also is SR Merchant Navy Pacific Class 4-6-2 no 35006 Penisular&Oriental SN CO and BR(WR) Manor 4-6-0 Class no 7820 Dinmore Manor on the Toddington Narrow Gauge is Henschel&Sohn 0-8-0T no 1091 and Hunslet 0-4-2T no 6 Chakaskraal and Chrzanow 0-6-0T no 3512 Tourska.
    By Joshua Brinsford

  • As a volunteer PWay LIne Walker on the Severn Valley at Bridgnorth I am enjoying seeing 6023 in all it’s glory. I used to visit Snow Hill Birmingham in the 1950’s to see Kings as they were prohibited from travelling through my home Town of Droitwich due to platform clearances I believe. however I never saw a ‘blue’ one, the ones I used to see were either GWR Green or dirty black towards the end. Many thanks to all of you who made the extended life of 6023 possible. A wonderful sight.

  • I’m not sure what to say but I will send you some photos. Glad The King is centrefold on steam magazine, this August/Sept 2018. We all know it’s a most magnificent job done. My photos are of us & granchildren nearby the King at Paignton