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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Birmingham Snow Hill - Grouping Period Locomotives: gwrbsh44

GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 4936 'Kinlet Hall' is seen on an up express service to Paddington as it enters Snow Hill station circa 1929

GWR 4-6-0 Hall class No 4936 'Kinlet Hall' is seen on an up express service to Paddington as it enters Snow Hill station circa 1929. Built at Swindon works to Lot 254 in June 1929 No 4936 was to remain in service until 28th December 1963 when it was withdrawn from Cardiff East Dock shed to be eventually preserved. One of a class that would eventually number 330, the Hall was designed as a general purpose engine and during a career spanning 30 years, carried out sterling work for the Great Western Railway and British Railways. The origins of the Hall Class date back to 1924 when Saint Class Loco 2925 was taken into Swindon works to be rebuilt with larger driving wheels, a lowered boiler and Castle Class style cab. The result was the prototype for the versatile and powerful mixed traffic class.

The cost of construction of Kinlet Hall in 1929 was £5,209.00 which Included £1,167.00 for the boiler and £834.00 for the tender. In the course of her career Kinlet Hall ran a total of 1,339,061 miles, Covering the length and breadth of the GWR network. She led a nomadic existence, being initially allocated to Chester and transferring to Shrewsbury , Wolverhampton, Oxford, Banbury, Old Oak Common, Truro, Plymouth and Cardiff. It was during her time in the West Country that Kinlet Hall achieved the unfortunate distinction of falling into a bomb crater, following a heavy raid on Plymouth in 1941, causing extensive damage to the bogie and main frames. Damage was severe but such was the shortage of locomotives during the war that subsequent speedy repairs were carried out at Newton Abbott.

Damage was so severe that it is remarkable that repair was affected at all and the locomotive still carries within its frames evidence of the extent of work required. Kinlet Hall ended her career with British Railways in South Wales in December 1963 and was eventually sold as scrap on 15th January 1964 to Messrs Woodham Brothers at Barry Island. The locomotive therefore carries the unusual distinction of having been saved both from damage of a ‘Luftwaffe’ raid and the cutters torch. After languishing in the scrap yard for 20 years the locomotive was bought by a consortium in 1979 and the long road to restoration began. The first successful steaming of the locomotive for 36 years occurred on 16th February 2000, at Tyseley, West Midlands and ‘Kinlet Hall’ achieved a remarkable return and mainline certification on 8th June 2000. The locomotive has since retraced many of its old haunts, having visited Old Oak Common, Swindon, Newport, Newton Abbott and the South West including Penzance. Courtesy Kinlet Hall website.