The Autumn steam gala season progresses over the second weekend in October at two popular preserved steam railways when up to 20 steam engines may appear!
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’s October 7-9 Autumn Steam Gala promises plenty of steam action and an absorbing mix of locomotives and carriages from different regions.
There will be two guest locomotives. Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd’s GWR 2-8-0 No. 2807 is visiting from its Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway home plus ‘Black Five’ No. 45305 from the Great Central Railway.
Newly overhauled K&WVR resident 4F No. 43924 is making its first Worth Valley gala appearance since 1987, while end of steam veteran ‘Black Five’ No. 45212 will participate in its final gala before withdrawal for overhaul at the end of October.
Locomotives will be matched with newly restored carriages in authentic combinations. Expect to see L&Y ‘Ironclad’ 0-6-0 No. 957 hauling a complete Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway train (including newly restored ‘Club Car’ No. 47) and Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41241 (nearing the end of its ticket and hauling restricted length trains) heading a two coach Southern Region train comprising the Vintage Carriages Trust’s newly restored Bulleid TSO and freshly repainted Chatham ‘Matchboard Brake’, both in ‘blood and custard’ livery.
Additional steam will be present in the form of The Bahamas Locomotive Society’s Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T (1704/38) Nunlow, which is based at Ingrow where the BLS has its Ingrow Loco museum and workshop – and where National Trust-owned LNWR 0-6-2T ‘Coal Tank’ is in the final stages of a major overhaul. Also at Ingrow is the Vintage Carriages Trust museum.
As the event approaches, there are some doubts over whether home-based 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80002 will be running during the gala. At the beginning of September it was not in traffic due to weeping tubes and it was unclear whether it would make the autumn show.
The K&WVR is easily reached by rail, the national network and heritage line both using Keighley station.
The Great Central Railway expects to produce eight locomotives in steam during its October 6-9 Autumn Gala, three of which will be guests.
Appearances by S&DJR 7F No. 88 (from the West Somerset Railway) and ‘West Country’ No. 34007 Wadebridge (Mid-Hants Railway) inspired a Somerset & Dorset JR theme. Moreover, neither of these locos has previously run on the GCR. The third visitor is the South Devon Railway’s GWR 0-6-0 No. 3205, which moves to Loughborough following September appearances at Didcot.
Also projected for action are SR ‘King Arthur’ No. 30777 Sir Lamiel plus GCR-based locos including Robinson 04 2-8-0 No. 63601, GWR Hall No. 4593 Pitchford Hall and LMS 3F 0-6-0 No. 47406.
An extra attraction is the likelihood of the new turntable at Quorn and Woodhouse being used for the first time in public.