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Great Western Railway 57XX pannier tank 7714 returns to South Wales for the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon's Heritage Railway's 2022 Annual Steam Gala.

Black Great Western Railway 0-6-0 pannier tank number 7714 in British Railways black arrives into Bewdley station on the Severn Valley Railway with a single 'blood and custard' livered British Railways mark one carriage
GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank No.7714 confirmed for 2022 Annual Steam Gala. Image courtesy of Kenny Felstead

The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon's Heritage Railway is excited to confirm the first visiting locomotive for its 2022 Annual Steam Gala: Great Western Railway 0-6-0 pannier tank number 7714 from the Severn Valley Railway.

The locomotive, which was outshopped in 1930, was one of no less than 863 Collett Class 5700 Pannier Tanks that saw widespread use across the Great Western Railway network well into British Railways days. Initially allocated to the English Midlands, it was withdrawn from mainline duties in 1959 after clocking up over half a million miles in service. Following its withdrawal, the locomotive was then sold to the National Coal Board for further use at Penallta Colliery near Ystrad Mynach in Glamorganshire (just ten miles away from Blaenavon as the crow flies!) before finally entering preservation at the Severn Valley Railway in 1973.

7714's return to South Wales will be one of the main attractions of the Railway's 2022 Annual Steam Gala, which takes place from Friday 9th - Sunday 11th September. An additional guest engine is also currently being finalised, with a further announcement to be made on Friday 5th August.

The event will see an extensive timetable in operation using all available locomotives, with demonstration freight services and Saturday evening runs (including a Fish and Chip Special) among the key highlights. The buffet car will also be open on the main carriage set serving local Rhymney Brewery ales and Hallets Real Ciders, with both our Great Western Railway Saloons (further information here) out in traffic.

The Railway's new Events Coordinator, Nathan Russell, said,

Over the past thirteen years, we have held some amazing steam galas and welcomed over thirty locomotives, with this year set to be our biggest one yet! Since the pandemic, we have invested in both locomotives and rolling stock and this event will finally see us put them all into action. 7714's return to South Wales will be a star attraction for visitors, and with many other highlights over the weekend, we hope that many will come along to the event to support us!

The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Company (1983) Limited would like to thank the Severn Valley Railway and the Pannier Tank Fund for making the visit of 7714 possible. To find out more about the event visit the dedicated Annual Steam Gala page on our website - link here.

First published 17:15 01/08/2022.

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