Locomotive Restoration

The West Somerset Railway Locomotive Restoration Project supports the long term security of locomotives operating on the West Somerset Railway.

The WSRA owns 3 steam locomotives and they are all suitable for running on the West Somerset Railway. There are two  ex GWR locomotives,  Small Prairie 4561 and  Manor Class 7821 “Ditcheat Manor”. 

WSRA has also recently been donated a Standard four Locomotive 80064.  Whilst it is not a GWR loco and has never run on the WSR, it is extremely suitable for such work and once restored will prove to be a very useful workhorse.


The West Somerset Railway works hard to ensure that a strong fleet of locomotives is available to haul service trains throughout every year.

The WSRA is supporting that effort with its three locomotives.  

Small Prairie 4561 is at WS Restorations at Williton where staff and volunteers are getting on with the first phase of the restoration aimed at achieving a rolling chassis.  The Boiler has been sent away to a specialist firm for assessment and overhaul.  You can read all about the progress on our 4561 BLOG

Newly acquired 80064 is also at Williton awaiting assessment from the engineering staff there.  The plan is for it to be restored at Williton and run on the WSR as soon as possible.  Progress is being documented on the 80064 BLOG

The Locomotive Restoration Project Purpose

is to support the long term security of locomotives operating on the West Somerset Railway, primarily by resotoring WSRA owned locomotives to run on the West Somerset Railway.  

Support our Locomotive Restoration Fund

The Donation links below direct you to a JustGiving Checkout to make your donation and the WSRA will receive 100% of your donation and apply it to the requested fund.    You may be asked to make a contribution to the checkout costs, which is discretionary.

Make a donation towards our Locomotive Restoration fund.  This fund is restricted to use for restoring and maintaining our locomotives and will be used for whichever locomotive is appropriate at the time.

Support a specific Locomotive

If you prefer your donation to go towards the restoration of a specific locomotive please use the donation links  below and your request will be honoured.  General Information about each locomotive can be found further down this webpage.

The Donation links below direct you to a JustGiving Checkout to make your donation and the WSRA will receive 100% of your donation and apply it to the requested fund.    You may be asked to make a contribution to the checkout costs, which is discretionary.

About our Locomotives

GWR 2-6-2T Small Prairie 4561

Small Prairie 4561 has been on the West Somerset Railway since being rescued from Woodham Bros scrap yard in Barry, South Wales in 1975. It passed into WSRA ownership in 1982 and restoration work got underway in 1985, with a mainly volunteer workforce, funded by voluntary contributions.  4561 steamed for the first time in preservation on 15 August 1989.

Having run 43,000 miles in preservation, 4561 was withdrawn in 1998 pending a major overhaul.  Unfortunately  the restoration was sidelined for several years. In 2019 work began again with the commissioning of new cylinder castings.   The majority of the work is being done at Williton under the day to day management of Ryan Pope, with external contractors engaged as necessary, and experienced advice and guidance from Mike Johns, Bob Meanley and others. 

In August 2020 a regular website BLOG was started, documenting the work .

BR Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4T Locomotive No 80064

80064 was built at Brighton in June 1953 and was initially allocated to the London Midland Region before transferring to Southern Region ownership in December 1959. It was transferred to Exmouth Junction following the electrification of the Kent Coast railway. In September 1963 Exmouth and the area was transferred to Western Region control and so it then transferred to Western Region ownership.

80064 was withdrawn from service in September 1965 and sold to Woodham Brothers at Barry for scrap. It arrived in the scrapyard in October 1965 and remained there until February 1973.

Following the purchase by the 80064 Locomotive Fund, the locomotive was moved to Buckfastleigh on the Dart Valley Railway (now the South Devon Railway) in 1973 where the long task of restoring was started.  80064 steamed again in 1981.

In 1984 the owners moved the locomotive to the Bluebell Railway where it worked for a number of years until its boiler certificate expired around 1989.

Towards the end of 2023 locomotive 80064 was donated by its owning group  to the West Somerset Railway Association and relocated to the West Somerset Railway where plans are being made for its restoration.

The restoration work is expected to be relatively straightforward, because of its condition and relatively light usage since manufacture. A detailed restoration plan can only be produced once the loco is dismantled when the condition of the internal components can be assessed. 

 Locomotives of this type have been used on the West Somerset Railway in the past and proved ideal for the challenging gradients and heavy loadings experienced on the WSR: the longest full-size preserved railway in England. It will be ideal to replace the locomotives currently in service, when they are withdrawn on expiry of their boiler certificates, over the next few years.  

manor class 7821 "Ditcheat Manor"

The second of the last batch of 10 engines of the thirty-strong GWR 7800 class, Ditcheat Manor no 7821 was built by British Railways in 1950.

Ditcheat Manor, No 7821 was initially allocated to Oswestry shed and later Shrewsbury before being moved to Birmingham. In 1959 Ditcheat Manor was reallocated to Newton Abbot, passing through Taunton at times, before being returned to the Cambrian Lines and finally Oxley. The engine was withdrawn in November 1965 and sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, South Wales.

Rescued from Barry in 1981, it was sent to the embryonic Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, before moving to the Llangollen Railway and then Swindon works.  Restoration was completed in 1998, when it first steamed on the West Somerset Railway. The loco then worked on the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire, and  moved again in 2005 to the Churnet Valley Railway where it served its last months of its boiler ticket in traffic.


In 2008, the West Somerset Railway Association bought 7821 from its private owner.  A mechanical examination showed that the locomotive needed extensive and expensive chassis and boiler work, and agreed a static display contract with the Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon. The locomotive was relocated to the museum on 14 November 2010.

In 2018 STEAM museum was gifted it’s own locomotive in the shape of 2818 from the NRM.  Therefore, with some reluctance it was decided to end the display contract for Ditcheat Manor.

Meanwhile, less than a mile away, the McARthurGlen Designer Outlet centre received the news that the Severn Valley Railway wished to remove no 7819 Hinton Manor which had been on display there  since 2007.  Round table discussions ensued and a plan emerged.

The big move was confirmed for 21 August 2018.  2818 left the NRM the day before and spent a night at services on the M4, ready and waiting for its new home.  At the Designer Outlet, a floor had to be taken up to reveal the rails, and the glass frontage of the building removed.  Ditcheat Manor was winched out of Steam onto the transverser, moved across to the road access and pulled back off and onto a low loader.  The final move into the Designer Outlet was achieved smoothly the next day and Ditcheat Manor now sits proudly as the major exhibit in a GWR themed McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, that has a footfall of over 3 million visitors each year. Here the locomotive will be safe and dry, and a great ambassador for the West Somerset Railway.  Volunteers from STEAM museum will continue keeping her polished and shiny  in her new home.

In due course, when funds are available, Ditcheat Manor will be restored to run on the West Somerset Railway.