On the occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games, one of the Severn Valley Railway’s locomotives will be given a facelift.
34027 Taw Valley will not only have a different name later this year, but will also appear in an all-new purple livery, to commemorate the Jubilee.
This will only be temporary, and later in the year the locomotive will return to its original name and livery.
SVR President Mike Ball said, “It’s about having the biggest impact possible.”
“We are putting a tremendous amount of effort into our celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the 2022 Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham. We are sure that the unusual appearance of the locomotive will greatly attract visitors.
“The sight of a purple steam locomotive may not appeal to all heritage enthusiasts, but it will certainly cause a stir among the visiting public, and we aim to stimulate maximum interest in heritage rail among the as wide an audience as possible this year.”
It won’t be the first time the West Country class locomotive has appeared in an unconventional livery. In 2000 he was rendered in maroon and wore Hogwarts Express nameplates to promote JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, appearing at book signing events across the UK. However, Taw Valley never made it to the big screen, as the film producers chose 5972 Olton Hall instead.
The new temporary name of the locomotive will be chosen by public vote.
Nearly 1,200 entries were received in a competition for the new name, and a shortlist will be put out to public vote on Monday, February 14.
SVR Engineering Chief Martin White gave details on how the purple transformation will take place.
He said: ‘Taw Valley is booked for its annual boiler review at the start of February, and after its steam review it will enter the paint shop in Bridgnorth. We expect the painting to be finished in early April.
“To be honest, the locomotive was starting to look a little tired. With three years still to run on its boiler ticket, a smarten-up was a good idea to prevent further deterioration and allow maximum utilization of the locomotive.