Nunney Castle

Now over 80 years old, Nunney Castle was built by the Great Western Railway to work fast express passenger services from London to the West and on one occasion even hauled the Royal Train. She is currently being overhauled to mainline running condition.

  • Icons Of Steam
29 Years
service
75 Miles
Per Hour
79 Tons of
engine
83 Years
of age

Early years in service

Great Western Railway

Nunney Castle was built in 1934 as one of 173 'Castle' class locomotives built by the GWR. They were designed to be powerful, versatile locomotives, suitable for the great express trains such as the Cornish Riviera Express. On one occasion in 1957 she hauled the Royal Train from Paddington to Gloucester!

She spent much of her working life based at Old Oak Common in London but also had spells at Worcester and further west into Devon. Towards the end of her life she operated out of Cardiff, from where she travelled to London but also into Wales and north to Shrewsbury and Birmingham.

Entering Preservation

Saved from Barry Scrapyard

In 1964 Nunney Castle was retired by British Railways and sent to Barry Scrapyard in Wales. She remained there for a full 12 years before being rescued. She was first returned to steam at Didcot Railway Centre in 1990 and started to operate on the main line once again. In the late 1990's she underwent another overhaul that saw the fitting of air brake equipment and changes to her tender to increase water capacity.

Castle for the mainline

Overhaul and return

In 2012 Nunney Castle underwent an intermediate overhaul to her 'bottom end' - the wheels, frames and motion - before enjoying a two year stint back on the main line. She is currently withdrawn from service and undergoing an overhaul that will see her return to the mainline in 2018.

Photography courtesy Inspiring Images.