Read on for a roundup of June's heritage news.
On June 2 the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway's Midland 4F 0-6-0 No. 43924 steamed for the first time in over 25 years. Withdrawn in June 1965 and sent to Barry scrapyard the following September, it has the distinction of being the first locomotive to ‘escape’ the South Wales yard. It left Barry in 1968 having been bought by the Midland 4F Preservation Society and worked on the K&WVR in the 1970s. The newly completed overhaul is actually the culmination of the first total strip and rebuild of the loco in preservation. It is expected to enter traffic around August.
The Llangollen Railway aims to complete construction of a new platform at a temporary Corwen terminus by next January. Track on the Carrog to Corwen extension should be complete by summer 2012 with the first trains running to Corwen by autumn. These will be DMU shuttles (there will be no run-round loop at the new platform) although steam auto-trains or top and tailed operations may run occasionally. The railway needs to raise around £150,000 with its ‘Corwen – The Final Push’ appeal to match Welsh Assembly Government grant aid. It has raised £34,000 so far.
The Tanfield Railway is constructing a new timber frame station building at East Tanfield station. Comprising waiting room, ticket office and toilets, it should be complete by the end of November in time for the Santa season.
The Isle of Wight Steam Railway continued its 40th anniversary year celebrations with a spring gala over May 28-30. As advertised, the event featured a visiting Beattie 2-4-0WT, but the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre’s No. 30585 rather than the anticipated NRM-owned No. 30587 from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway which was suffering leaking boiler tubes. Also visiting the Isle of Wight for the gala was the Bluebell Railway’s LBSCR E4 0-6-2T No. 473.
The Bluebell Railway launched 1889-built London, Chatham & Dover Railway coach No. 51 back into service on May 26. Completed as SECR No. 3360 to match the Bluebell’s SECR P class No. 178, its restoration was helped by a £49,000 lottery grant from ‘The People's Millions’ run on Meridian East TV in late 2009. It has been adapted to carry six wheelchair users plus helpers.
Bagnall 0-6-0ST ‘Austerity’ No. 7 (2777/1945) is on the verge of steaming for the first time in preservation following an extensive overhaul at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway. It has not run since the NCB withdrew it from service at Comrie Colliery, West Fife, over 30 years ago. In NCB days it had a Diesel Ejector but has been fitted with a Lempor-type exhaust during this overhaul. It has been completed in WD green livery as No. 75254. Although generally described as being a Bagnall it is not totally clear whether it was built at the firm’s Stafford works, or actually assembled for Bagnall’s by Barclay’s at Kilmarnock.
COLLETT BCK No. 6705 has been delivered to the West Somerset Railway. The 1938-built vehicle was purchased by the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust from Steamtown, Pennsylvania, USA in 2006 where it had been displayed since the 1960s and repatriated the following year. Following restoration at Crewe Heritage Centre the seating and internal fixtures will be completed at Williton along with adding a corridor connection and application of a chocolate and cream livery.
Over £100,000 has been spent and a further £10,000 is needed to complete the work. It should enter traffic in 2012 as the first element of the Heritages Coaches Project, which aims to provide a complete rake of GWR coaches for operation on the WSR.
FORMER LBSCR brake carriage No. 4168 dating from 1922 (although it incorporated a 1905-built underframe) returned to service in May following significant rebuilding by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. It arrived on the island in 1938 and was employed in BR’s last steam train from Shanklin to Ryde on December 31 1966. Acquired for preservation by the IOWSR it was part of the line’s passenger fleet until withdrawal in 1990.
With the return of No. 4168 the IOWSR can run trains comprising five bogie coaches in regular passenger service, something not seen on the island since 1966 on the Ryde to Shanklin line.
No. 7827 Lydham Manor appeared in a new BR black livery as No. 7800 Torquay Manor at the Dartmouth Steam Railway’s May 28-30 ‘Heritage Weekend’, an event centred on celebrating the 150th anniversary of the line reaching Churston station.
The West Somerset Railway unveiled newly overhauled No. 7828 Odney Manor as Norton Manor – 40 Commando at a June 17 ceremony at Minehead. The change of name (described as temporary) honours the Royal Marines unit based at Norton Manor, adjacent to the WSR line at Norton Fitzwarren.
The Wensleydale Railway, a line normally worked by internal combustion, is entertaining NRM-owned ‘King Arthur’ No. 30777 Sir Lamiel this summer. In addition, the Furness Railway Trust’s GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643 should be at Wensleydale for the line’s first steam gala over July 1-3. These visitors will be followed by the NRM’s No. 3717 City of Truro over October 8-9. See www.wensleydalerailway.com/html/steam_2011.html for steam dates.
The boiler of No. 6100 Royal Scot is to be lifted again at LNWR Heritage, Crewe – not for further work, but to enable the boiler inspector to undertake a full examination which could result in the ‘clock’ being re-started on the LMS 7P’s current ticket. Since original completion of the overhaul to return it to steam Royal Scot has only run during the early 2009 galas at the West Somerset and Llangollen railways. It has been at Crewe receiving extensive further attention since the end of April 2009 without making any further use of the current ticket.
On June 11 the Kent & East Sussex Railway re-enacted BR’s last train over the original line. 'The South Eastern Limited' comprising seven coaches top and tailed by A1X class 'Terrier' locomotives Nos. 32670 and 32662 traversed the Hawkhurst branch then ran over the K&ESR to Robertsbridge, on June 11 1961. The 50th anniversary commemoration train had just five coaches but the same two locomotives: K&ESR-based No. 32670 and Bressingham’s No. 32662 – previously Bodiam and Martello respectively. Both had been repainted BR black in preparation for this anniversary operation.
Following unveiling at Didcot after completion of its restoration, the Great Western Society’s BR blue liveried GWR ‘King’ No. 6023 King Edward II was moved to the Mid-Norfolk Railway at the beginning of June. It will work MNR passenger trains, building up mileage, until July 17. Visiting Pannier No. 9466 provides further steam on a line more usually worked by diesel traction, between July 9 and August 29, the pair of locos participating in the Mid-Norfolk’s first-ever steam gala over July 16-17. The MNR is also hiring Railway Vehicle Preservation’s ‘Beavertail’ observation car No. OBS 1719E this summer. Steam service details appear at www.mnr.org.uk.
Mid-Hants Railway-based 9F 2-10-0 No. 92212 will provide additional steam at the Severn Valley Railway this summer. It arrived at the SVR in early June and will return to Hampshire after the SVR’s September 23-25 Autumn Steam Gala. The early season has been tricky for steam at the Severn Valley – at times there were just five locomotives available while a valve re-bore of Prairie No. 4566 was completed. The 2857 Society’s GWR 2-8-0 No. 2857 should enter service by the end of June following completion of its overhaul, although Ivatt ‘Flying Pig’ 2-6-0 No. 43106 will visit the North Norfolk Railway for three weeks in August.
In addition to the 9F, visiting locos booked for the SVR’s Autumn Gala comprise Caledonian Railway 0-6-0 No. 828 from the Strathspey Railway, the Great Western Society’s GWR ‘King’ No. 6023 King Edward II, A1 No. 60163 Tornado and No. 5029 Nunney Castle.
The 15in gauge Bure Valley Railway suffered a derailment between Brampton and Aylsham on May 30 when the axle of a passenger carriage bogie failed. The train, hauled by No. 6 Blickling Hall, was carrying 61 passengers, none of whom were injured. With RAIB and ORR informed of the incident, train operations were halted for the remainder of the day. After track repairs and recovery of the stranded train the BVR was running again the next day. Internal and RAIB investigations are in progress.
The BVR celebrates its 21st anniversary with a ‘Travel Back in Time’ event over July 9-10 with fares the same as when the line opened on July 10 1990.
Avonside 2ft gauge 0-4-0T Marchlyn (2067/1933) has been repatriated from the USA. Originally employed by Durham County Water Board it was purchased by Penrhyn slate quarry in October 1936, then sold and shipped to the USA in July 1965, latterly being plinthed in Chattanooga. It returned to Britain on May 27 and was displayed at the Statfold Barn Railway’s June 4 Open Day. It will be restored to operation at Statfold and become part of the resident fleet.
Ex-South African Railways 3ft 6ins gauge Dubs ‘A’ Class 4-8-2T No. 196 (3819/1900) owned by the North British Locomotive Preservation Group has been repatriated from South Africa. It has been placed on a short section of track for display at the Mizens Miniature Railway, near Woking.
The third application submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for ‘The Victorian Locomotive Learning Project’ – which includes restoring J21 0-6-0 No. 65033 to steam – has been refused. Previous bids for lottery cash by the Locomotive Conservation and Learning Trust were refused in December 2009 and November 2010. The latest set back, in late May, is not the end of the line. None of the refusals have challenged the principle of supporting the project and the application will be revised again, covering questions posed, and re-submitted.
BR 7P No. 70000 Britannia is the first standard gauge guest locomotive to be announced for the ‘Steel, Steam & Stars III’ gala over April 21-29 2012 at the Llangollen Railway. ‘SS&S’ mega-galas are organised by the 6880 Betton Grange Society to raise cash towards construction of new-build No. 6880 Betton Grange. The objective of this third edition is to finance the £60,000 needed to cast two new cylinders. Further visitors are expected to be announced over the coming months. Britannia is actually the second announced guest, the Talyllyn Railway’s No. 2 Dolgoch will be visiting to run on a specially laid 2ft 3in gauge line at Carrog.
The Mid-Hants Railway aims to produce a Maunsell Gala in 2012 on the dates of its planned autumn event. Key to the theme will be the presence of NRM-owned No. 850 Lord Nelson, SR U class 2-6-0 No. 31806 and NRM-owned SR ‘Schools’ 4-4-0 No. 925 Cheltenham. Talks are in progress with other loco owners which could bring in at least one significant additional guest loco following the Maunsell theme.