The SR West Country locomotive, 34027 Taw Valley, is set to be repainted in another striking livery.
Following its 2022 appearance as “The Purple Loco”, No. 70 “Elizabeth II”, the locomotive will be repainted in a matte black livery with cab numbers and sunshine yellow lettering.
34027 will also be renumbered to its original SR number, 21C127.
Painting is expected to be completed in early 2023. The original paint plan was changed from the fall as the railroad was to use the locomotive for its Christmas services.
SVR’s head of steam engineering, Duncan Ballard, explained the idea behind the decision to paint the locomotive black: “We chose this livery not only because we know it will generate a lot of interest among heritage enthusiasts and the public, but also because it offers us a very practical short-term solution. We need to replace the purple livery of 34027 as it was only for the Platinum Jubilee year. Applying matte black paint will be an extremely labor-saving job, just as it was when used during the war. We plan to do this in January, so that the locomotive will be ready to go into service when we reopen in early March.
“34027 will be needed to haul utilities until the fall of 2023 when we will take it out of service for an interim overhaul, which should see the locomotive out of service for about a year. Following this essential maintenance, we will repaint it in British Railways green with red and black lining. Putting it back in this livery is definitely something we want to take our time to complete to the highest standards.
“We know a matte black ‘Taw Valley’ is going to cause a stir,” said SVR Managing Director Helen Smith. “But let’s face it, Severn Valley Railway we’re not afraid to do things a little differently! It’s sure to look amazing in the dark of austerity, especially when we relaunch our Back to the 1940s events next summer.
Speaking on behalf of Taw Valley Limited, owner of the locomotive, Phil Swallow said: “Our locomotive was not built until 1946, the year after the end of the Second World War. It was later rebuilt by British Railways in the 1950s into the form we see today. In reality, he would never have worn a matte black livery in his rebuilt form. So this will be an unusual example of a ‘what if’ livery. »
“As owners of ‘Taw Valley’, and like the SVR, we’re no strangers to pushing some boundaries. We’re right behind the idea of an austerity locomotive and can’t wait to see it next year.