The completion of the £1m overhaul of LNER A4 No. 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley will be celebrated with a short ceremony at Kidderminster on Thursday 21st April 2022.
The A4 will then return to revenue-earning service and will haul trains at the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Steam Gala, taking place between the 21st and 24th April 2022.
Sir Nigel Gresley is the the “brother” locomotive to world record holder, Mallard (currently cosmetically restored at the National Railway Museum in York) and is now the only A4 locomotive currently in operation after 60009 Union of South Africa bowed out of service in 2021. Other class members are unlikely to return in the next few years, and some will never steam again.
4498 (or BR number 60007) will operate at the Gala before being moved to Locomotive Services Group at Crewe where it will be prepared for mainline tours from May onwards.
SNG’s overhaul started in 2015 and was completed in March 2022 beofre a running in period at the Severn Valley Railway.
Whilst currently in LNER Wartime Black livery, it will be repainted into BR Express Passenger Blue later in 2022, and renumbered back to 60007.
Nigel Wilson, Chairman of The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust, which owns No. 4498, said, ”The event marks the return of our popular A4 class locomotive following the tremendous efforts of our essentially volunteer engineering team. This overhaul is probably the most thorough the locomotive has ever had. Thanks to all involved and the results of the hard work are now for everybody to enjoy. We’re also very grateful to the SVR for hosting us for the all-important running in tests.”
The SVR’s managing director Helen Smith said, “It’s been a pleasure to host this iconic locomotive at the railway for its running in tests in recent weeks. We’re delighted that it’s staying to make an exclusive guest appearance at our Spring Steam Gala, where we know it will prove tremendously popular. I’d also recommend visitors take the opportunity to visit The Engine House at Highley, where Sir Nigel Gresley’s famous top hat is on display.”