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By Anthony Coulls on

737 takes the spotlight in the Great Hall

The Great Hall says goodbye to Mallard and welcomes another historic locomotive.

After Mallard’s move to Shildon, it was our plan to put the stunning South Eastern & Chatham Railway “D” class 4-4-0 loco No.737 and Pullman Carriage “Topaz” into its place in the Great Hall, for their space was required for the Art Gallery as described by Lorna in her “Moving Waterloo” post. Now after several days shunting by Ray Towell, Matt Ellis and team, it was finally put there last night, and I managed to grab a couple of pictures before the museum opened this morning. One or two detail alterations have to be made to 737 to make it more authentic – one these have been done, I’ll post another picture so you can spot the difference!

737 has to be one of the most elegant and stylish locos in existence and is set off perfectly by the full SECR livery. Now in the Great Hall, it can be appreciated from all angles.

737 hasn’t been the only vehicle on the move. The sectioned Rocket replica, built by Robert Stephenson & Co in the early 1930s is off on its holidays soon to the 175th anniversary of German Railways at Nuremberg, along with the replica Sans Pareil from Shildon. Rocket was moved outside as well last night to have its chimney removed in readiness for road transport early next week.

In all the time I’ve worked for the NRM, I’ve never seen the sectioned Rocket outside. I needed to do a condition check before it goes to Germany, and of course needed a photographic record!

It seems like all change at times, and certainly moving things around gives a different look to the NRM: with the Deltic 55 002 in the workshop, we needed something else and different on the Flying Scotsman exhibition – and the prototype HST fitted the bill.

The prototype High Speed Train power car takes the spotlight in the Flying Scotsman exhibition

In the meantime, the other three vehicles displaced from the area where the art gallery is to be are on display in the Depot in the South Yard, though this will not be their final place of exhibition – more of that when future plans are revealed in the not-too-distant future.

The LMS electric suburban unit, also known as the Oerlikon, can be seen to better advantage in the Depot, but it won’t be here for long…

All this and the first week of the Scarborough Spa Express season of excursion trains – our NRM+ meeting today was interrupted by the departure of “Scots Guardsman” heading for the coast. Sadly, I didn’t have the camera out. Maybe next time…

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