Baldwin 794

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Baldwin 794
On test at Beddgelert 23 May 2023
Type Baldwin 10-12-D
Home Railway WHHR
Original Railway WDLR
Status Awaiting Repair
History
Built by Baldwin
Built 1917
Technical
Wheel Arrangement 4-6-0PT
Fuel Coal
Whistle(s) Baldwin Pattern Whistle
Notes
Dual Air/ Vacuum Braking
Locomotives

Baldwin 794 is a 4-6-0PT locomotive of the Baldwin class 10-12-D (Builder's number 44699 of 1917). It was built for the Great War, one of a large number of similar machines. After the War, it was sold and exported to India, where it worked on a sugar plantation, carrying the name 'Tiger'.

It was brought back to the UK from India in 1985 and passed to The Imperial War Museum, who remain its owners. It was displayed for a time in unrestored condition at the IWM's Duxford site, where it was intended to run it on a short line. The chassis was part-restored to rolling chassis condition for this purpose by a firm in Suffolk, but the plans for the Duxford line folded before attention was paid to the boiler, other than establishing that it was life-expired. The loco was transferred to Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in 2004, where the IWM has agreed that the loco will operate under the pseudonym 590, being almost identical to the original WHR locomotive of that number. The expensive new boiler is funded under a generous bequest, and a public appeal is open for the remaining costs of restoration.

In the Vale of Rheidol Railway works at Aberystwyth,

It was sent to the Vale of Rheidol Railway's Aberystwyth works for restoration, which was completed in 2023. Baldwin 794 is painted as 590 in a dark-maroon (FR Fairlie Red) colour with black borders as per the original 590 after 1934. It is fitted with a Baldwin pattern whistle.

Ownership was transferred from the Imperial War Museum to to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway on 3 February 2023.

The complete locomotive was delivered to Minffordd Yard 22 May 2023 and was transferred to Boston Lodge for testing. The following day it took a test train consisting of a brakevan and a B-wagon full of ash to Beddgelert. It entered service on 27 May 2023 at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway where the locomotive was revealed to fund donors and supporters. It was then expected to star in the Welsh Highland 100 gala in June. Unfortunately 794 failed with axle box issues before the event and was on static display only. A new date is expected to be announced for 794 to haul trains on the WHR mainline once repairs are carried out.

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