Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hawksworth Makes His Mark - Previewing the Modified Halls Collection

About the 6959 Modified ‘Hall’ Class

  A development of the class of 4-6-0 mixed traffic locomotives designed by Charles Benjamin Collett for the Great Western Railway. 259 Collett Halls were built between 1928 and 1943. The later Hawksworth Modified Halls were built between 1944 and 1950. 71 were built.

  When F.W.Hawksworth took over from Collett as the new Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway in 1941, one of the first things he decided to do was to modify the Hall Class. Although very successful, it’s design could be traced back to the early 1900’s, so modifications were planned to bring the class up to date. Instead of going back and rebuilding the entire Collett-designed class, Hawksworth decided to continue the building of Halls, but to a new, modified design. With the number sequence continuing where Collett left off, they were to be called the 6959 Class, with 6959 Peatling Hall being delivered in March of 1944. The final Hall built was 7929 Wyke Hall, in November of 1950.

  The Modified Halls marked the most radical change to Swindon Works' practice since Churchward's time as chief mechanical engineer and was very far from a simple modification of the Hall design. 'Although in outward appearance it looked almost the same, nearly everything about it was new.' Hawksworth's use of plate frames throughout the design was a break with Churchward's practice for 2 Cylinder locomotives. The cylinders were cast separately from the smokebox saddle and bolted to the frames on each side. A stiffening brace was inserted between the frames and extended to form the smokebox saddle. The exhaust pipes leading from the cylinders to the blastpipe were incorporated into this assembly. Additionally, Churchward's bar framed bogie which had been adapted for the original Hall prototype in 1924 was replaced by a plate frame structure with individual springing. There were changes too above the running board. Hawksworth decided that the declining quality of coal reaching Great Western depots necessitated a higher degree of superheating. A larger three-row superheater and header regulator were fitted into Swindon No.1 boiler. Improvements were subsequently made to the draughting on some engines, while others were fitted with hopper ashpans.

  Seven Modified Halls were saved for preservation, although one has since been broken up, with parts being donated to new-build projects. 7927 Willington Hall(the word ‘willing’ being in the name seems appropriate!) has been used as a donor for the new Grange and County projects taking place. Of the other six, four have steamed in preservation. At the time of writing, 6960 Raveningham Hall and 6990 Witherslack Hall are both running on the West Somerset and Great Central railway’s respectively. 7903 is also very near steaming once more after a 10-yearly overhaul. Both 6984 Owsden Hall and 6989 Wightwick Hall are also nearing steaming for the first time in preservation.
  The ‘Modified’ Hall Class were a success and were popular with crews and maintenance staff. The ran freely, and steamed very well. The four which have run in preservation have also proved equally popular with railway staff and enthusiasts alike. A real tribute to F.W.Hawksworth!!

The Locomotives
6960 Raveningham Hall

  The locomotive was built in March 1944 at Swindon Works. Its first shed allocation was Old Oak Common. The locomotive was withdrawn from service in June 1964 and sold to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, South Wales for cutting up. However it was saved for preservation and left the yard in October 1972 by Mr David Edleston of derby. It was eventually sold to Steamtown Carnforth as the 26th departure from Barry. Restored in 1975, she was then based at the Severn Valley Railway where she ran with 4930 Hagley Hall's tender while her own was put behind 4930. She left the Severn Valley Railway in 1996. Sold to Jeremy Hosking, by 2008 it was at The Flour Mill workshops in the Forest of Dean receiving a thorough overhaul. Proposed to run at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, restored from 2009 to operational condition in November 2011 at the West Somerset Railway. Since, 6960 has run successfully on the WSR, as well as visiting various other preserved lines, including the Mid-Hants and Great Central railway’s.
Raveningham Hall returned to steam on the Severn Valley Railway in 1975 and appeared in this dark Great Western livery with a Collett tender
This is the condition which Raveningham Hall currently runs in
During the 1980’s and the early 1990’s, 6960 ran in this condition on the SVR with a flat-sided Hawksworth tender, which belonged to Hagley Hall

6984 Owsden Hall

  This locomotive was built in February 1948 at Swindon Works. Its first shed allocation was Hereford. It was withdrawn from service in 1966 and sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers scrapyard. In 1986 it was saved for preservation and moved to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and remained there until 2013 when it moved to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway where its restoration will be completed. As of April 2016, the boiler is back on the frames and final re-assembly is taking place.

As this particular loco hasn't steamed as yet. As we do not know what livery the restoration group will go for, we have painted Owsden Hall in 1942-47 G[Crest]W green
6990 Witherslack Hall

  6990 was built at Swindon in 1948 and withdrawn in January 1966. It was bought by the Witherslack Hall Locomotive Society and it arrived on the Great Central Railway in November 1975, having operated on the line during its BR days. Restoration was completed in 1986 and the locomotive operated until 2001 when it was withdrawn for overhaul. After 14 years out of service, 6990's overhaul was completed in October 2015 and is now operating at the GCR once again.

This is how Witherslack Hall appeared during the last year or two of previous ticket around 2000-2001

When originally returned to steam in 1986, Witherslack Hall appeared in Great Western Green. This is not an authentic livery for this particular modified Hall, as 6990 was built at the beginning of BR, in 1948. So, therefore, would have only carried BR liveries. The livery was carried for a few years until being transformed by the GCR, being painted in the attractive BR lined black – a livery which really suited her.

Having returned to steam in 2015, Witherslack Hall is plying it’s trade once again on the GCR. One big change from 6990’s previous ticket is the Hawksworth flat-side tender.
6998 Burton Agnes Hall

  Burton Agnes Hall was built by British Railways to GWR specifications at Swindon in January 1949, and named after the Yorkshire stately home. Obviously the GWR were running out of stately homes in GW territory! Initially based at Cardiff, it was finally withdrawn by British Rail in 1966. The locomotive was acquired by the Great Western Society in the same year, and moved to the Didcot Railway Centre in 1967. She ran pretty much continuously(baring maintenance) until 1996, when 6998 was retired from service. During that 29 year period, Burton Agnes Hall performed on many mainline excursions, and spent the final stages of its ticket running of preserved railways. Since 1996 the locomotive has been a static exhibit at Didcot Railway Centre.

The appearance of Burton Agnes Hall which will be familiar to steam enthusiasts of the seventies, eighties and nineties. Burton Agnes Hall toured the country in this condition before being withdrawn from traffic in 1996.

Hawksworth Tender

  When F.W.Hawksworth took over from C.J.Collett as CME of the Great Western Railway, all tenders were of the Churchward or Collett riveted design. However, when Hawksworth produced his Modified Hall Class, he also designed a brand new tender – a flat-sided, all-welded 4,000 gallon tender. Only three Hawksworth 4,000 gallon tenders survive in preservation. Today these can be found at Loughborough, coupled to Witherslack Hall; Toddington, with Foremarke Hall and Didcot, with Burton Agnes Hall. As was the case in GW/BR days, these tenders move around. For example, the tender coupled to Witherslack Hall entered preservation coupled to Hagley Hall, on the Severn Valley Railway. This particular tender ran for a good few years with Raveningham Hall. The SVR and GCR did a swap however, and now Hagley Hall has its own Collett riveted type, and Witherslack Hall has its own Hawsworth tender, for the first time in preservation.

 We are pleased to present in this pack a new tender model. Produced by Vulcan Productions is the Hawksworth flat-sided tender. There are 3 versions as seen below:
Hawksworth tender in BR green, with early crest, as seen today behind Foremarke Hall and Witherslack Hall
The tender which is paired with Burton Agnes Hall. 6998 was purchased from BR with this tender.
This is the same tender as the one which now runs behind 6990. However, back in the late 80's/early 90's, this tender ran behind 6960 Raveningham Hall in early British Railways green
Other Pack Features

Custom Sounds

  Each individual loco has it's own set of sounds, or variation on the base sounds we made for Foremarke Hall, which started the pack off. We have done our research on these and you'll notice one particular 'special' sound feature on the 1980/90's Raveningham Hall. We'll leave you to find out yourselves!

Custom Lamps and Headboards

The lamps and headboards can be changed 'on-the-fly'. Each loco has an unlit lamp on each bracket, and stowed lamps either side of the steam pipe on the drivers side, as is typical. Changing the lamps is done thus:

> Ctrl+1,2 & 3 - 3 Buffer-beam positions from left to right
> Ctrl+5 - Top bracket
> Ctrl+H - Turns on HI lamp
> Ctrl+8 - Keep pressing and toggle through 4 headboard options

PLEASE NOTE: Pressing H in-game will put the full lamp and headboard configuration on the tender for you. Press Shift+H, then H again to put the lamps and headboard back on the front again.


Scenarios will be supplied separately along with a(or maybe even a few) weathered version(s) of the Modified Hall

Quick Drive

A vast array of QD consists have been created. These can be found easily by entering a loco number into the search field in the QD menu. There are OVER 60(!!!) in total. To get the best out of these QD consists, we recommend you have the following payware/freeware downloads installed:

  Please Note: You do not require the above in order to use the locomotives. The pack manual contains all the information to help you load the locomotives into your own scenarios.

  With the pack now in final stages of testing, you will very soon be able to enjoy these wonderful locomotives in all there glory! Our sincere thanks go to Vulcan Productions, and especially Ashley Burgess for the great work carried out. 

1 comment:

  1. the Restoration Group have released the detail of what livery Owsden Hall will be in. It will be BR green same as Foremarke Hall