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GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Spring Road Platform: gwrsr2938

Ex-GWR 4-6-0 Castle Class No 7013 'Bristol Castle' approaches Spring Road Platform with a down service to West of England in 1964

Ex-Great Western Railway 4-6-0 Castle Class No 7013 'Bristol Castle' approaches Spring Road Platform with a six coach down class A express service to the West of England in 1964. This locomotive was originally built in April 1924 at Swindon Works as No 4082 'Windsor Castle' and during the royal visit to Swindon on Monday 28th April 1924 King George V drove the locomotive from the Works to Swindon station with the Queen and several dignitaries on the footplate. The locomotive was subsequently fitted with a plaque to commemorate this event and it was frequently used as the motive power on Royal journeys. When the King died on Monday 20th January 1936, the locomotive was the obvious choice to haul his funeral train from Paddington to Windsor on Tuesday 28th January 1936. Sixteen years later, when his son, King George VI died on Wednesday 6th February 1952, the locomotive was again expected to be used for the Royal funeral train, but having travelled 1,300,024 miles and being overdue for a major overhaul, it was decided to substitute the newer No 7013 ‘Bristol Castle’ instead. The plaque, number and names plates from No 4082 ‘Windsor Castle’ were therefore transferred to this locomotive for the funeral train service on Friday 15th February and although immediately returned afterwards, they were again swapped over two days later. This change in identity became permanent, but the commemorative plaque was not fitted to either locomotive. The locomotive thus became No 7013 'Bristol Castle' operating from Worcester Shed until being allocated to Tyseley Shed (2A) in June 1964, from where No 7013 was withdrawn in February 1965 having travelled over 1,898,571 miles (last recorded mileage on 28th December 1963). The locomotive was then sold to Cox and Danks at Park Royal for disposal.

Photograph by RJ Buckley courtesy of Initial Photographs

Robert Ferris