Great Central Railway Loughborough Leicestershire 25th June 2012
The last fire for quite a few years. Great Central Railway 8K / LNER O4 2-8-0 63601 was finally withdrawn from service yesterday.
The boiler was still warm but the pressure gauge was showing zero psi when Gren and me went up on the footplate. After running the irons through I went inside the firebox to clean the grate while Gren did the smokebox. It was warm inside & there were some pretty large sheets of clinker in the back of the fire (I suspect she still steamed well though!) but with the dampers open & a row of firebars out it wasn't too unpleasant.
I didn't get the chance to ride/fire/see her yesterday so I made a point of going down to Loughborough this morning for a shed turn so I could carry out her final disposal. I have a soft spot for the O4 as it was the loco which I fired my first solo turn on after passing out.
Rumour has it that she will stay in Loughborough and is in line behind 48305 & 6990 before her next overhaul. Other, but I think less substantial, rumours say she will return to the NRM at York.