Steam locomotive No.6430 announced as fourth guest for Cotswold Festival of Steam Gala

6430 and 80072 at Llangollen
6430 and 80072 at Llangollen // Credit: RailAdvent

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has announced that Great Western Railway (GWR) 64XX Class No.6430 will be the fourth and final visiting guest for the Cotswold Festival of Steam Gala at the end of May.

Replacement for 4270

Originally, the GWSR planned for three guest engines to run along the line’s five home fleet engines. Unfortunately, GWR 42XX Class No.4270 won’t be able to attend the gala due to ongoing repairs at Crewe. In order to have eight engines running, the GWSR decided to find another guest engines.

History of 6430

Built in March 1937, 6430 was fitted with autotrain equipment like the other 39 engines of the 64XXs. Devon, Cornwall and South Wales were home to the class, where they worked branch line trains on the hilly routes.

After 25-30 years in service, both closings of branch lines and the introduction of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) saw the tanks being withdrawn in the 1960s.

October 1964 saw 6430’s withdrawal, with the tank moving to Cashmore for cutting up. Luckily, the Dartmouth Railway brought the engine, although as spares for their own 64XX No.6412, 6430 survived in preservation.

Restoration of 6430 was hard due to the engine’s condition and losing many parts but after almost a decade, the tank moved under its own steam in December 2003. Entering traffic in Spring 2004, 6430 is now running on its second boiler ticket, after an overhaul completed in 2015. 6430 is currently based at the Llangollen Railway.