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BR(WR) Modified Hall Class 4-6-0 No. 6984 Owsden Hall
In 1944, F W Hawksworth of the GWR introduced an improved version of the popular Hall class 4-6-0s of his predecessor, C B Collett. The locomotives were termed Modified Hall and incorporated 'one piece' mainframes (the originals were made in two sections joined together behind the cylinders), plate frame bogie and larger superheaters. At the same time new-type flush-sided tenders were paired with the engines, although these soon became swopped round as visits to the works for repair took place. The Hall class itself was a development of the 1907 Saint class of G J Churchward, so the original design was now on its third wind.
British Railways continued building the Modified Halls after the 1948 nationalisation, and No. 6984 Owsden Hall was completed in February of that year. On delivery, 6984 was sent to Hereford and remained there until transfer to Worcester in May 1958. Further short transfers to Neyland, Severn Tunnel Junction, Cardiff East Dock, Neath and Bristol Barrow Road followed. December 1965 saw the loco withdrawn from service, and sold the following month to Woodham Brothers for scrap.
In 1986, 6984 was preserved with it being sent to Bicester, with a move to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, remaining there until 2013. It then moved to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway where its restoration, before a recent move to Quainton.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer