This shows “Lady of Legend” working in 2020 with vintage GWR rolling stock at Didcot. Photo: Great Western Society.

The “Saint” class 4-6-0 passenger locomotives on the Great Western Railway (GWR) passed forever when the last of the class of 77, number 2920 “Saint David”, was withdrawn in 1953. Or so they thought! This iconic class was a mainstay of GWR passenger work for over 40 years and one locomotive achieved 1,935,000 miles on the clock. However, in 2004 the Great Western Society decided to re-create a “Saint” using parts from a withdrawn “Hall” class locomotive and some new parts specifically matching the original specification. Thanks to GWR standardisation and interchangeability of parts, the task wasn’t as onerous as it sounds. The work completed and April 2019 saw the launch of the new “Saint”, number 2999, “Lady of Legend” by restaurateur, chef and broadcaster Prue Leith CBE (now Dame Prue Leith). Dame Prue was also a member of British Railways Board from 1977 where she advised on improvements to railway catering.

“Saints” designed by GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer G