Events for end of June/early July
June 6 1971 marked the end of real standard gauge steam on the UK mainland main line when London Transport (LT) ran the final steam service on the ‘widened lines’ watched by thousands. LT continued to use steam on engineers’ trains for nearly three years after it all ended on passenger trains in the North West of England.
To commemorate this event, LT published a book detailing steam’s history on the underground system managed in 1971 by LT called The Last Drop.
They used ex GWR 0-6-0PT Pannier tank engines which had been purchased from British Rail as they were withdrawn from service and they ran when the electric rails were switched off so engineers could work on the track without fear of electrocution.
Many of these engines survive today in preservation and a couple have been back on the underground in the 1990s being used on the popular ‘Steam on The Met’ event which was run in late May for many years raising thousands of pounds for charity. Two engines even ran round the circle line overnight through London on positioning moves!
The 40th anniversary of the end of standard gauge steam in mainland UK is being celebrated at Tyseley Locomotive Works on June 25/6 this year. In addition to the LT red livery that ex LT and GWR Pannier Tank engine No. 7752/L94 will be displayed in, the National Railway Museum’s ‘Rocket’ will be offering what they call ‘old times’ passenger rides.
Record breaking LMS prototype Pacific No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth (it ran 401 miles non stop in 1936 between Euston and Glasgow) will also be in steam at the event alongside the BR steam engine which pulled the final BR steam service, ‘The 15 Guinea Special’ in August 1968. The Vintage Trains Tyseley based loco fleet will also be on parade including GWR ‘Castles and Halls and another panier tank’.
The event runs between 10am and 5pm Sat 25 June and Sunday 26 June.
Tyseley Railway station is just 5 minutes walk away from this event and served by frequent trains from Birmingham Moor Street and Snow Hill stations.
670 Warwick Road
Birmingham B11 2HL
Tel: 0121 708 4960
The Severn Valley Railway is one of the top preserved railways in Britain offering a 32 mile round trip taking three hours between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth via historic Bewdley. Most services are steam hauled but a few are also pulled by vintage diesels.
They are hosting another of their popular 1940s weekends on June 56 and 26 and July 2 and 3 with many nostalgic sights and sounds on and around the railway to be experienced. Kidderminster station is the location for a big band show on June 25 and July 2 which costs £10 for admission.
The railway has created a light hearted look at wartime with wartime displays, replica 1940s homes and ‘Dig for Victory’ style allotments and will host a historic vehicle and 1940s fashion shows!
Other attractions are a wedding and a battle with many other period events taking place over both weekends. Don’t forget to visit ‘The Engine House’ visitor centre at Highley where there is a lot to see, (up to eight steam locos and a Royal Carriage on display), or take a rest, a snack or full meal.
The event is over two weekends, June 25/6 and July 2/3
Kidderminster has a frequent train service from Birmingham Moor Street and Snow Hill and is adjacent to Kidderminster SVR station. The SVR’s main stations are at; Kidderminster, Bewdley, Arley Highley and Bridgnorth
Phone 01299 403816
he Isle of Wight Steam Railway is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and hot on the back of a fabulous gala at the end of May where almost 5000 passengers were carried in vintage carriages, comes a unique opportunity.
They have never run trains after dark but are doing so over the weekend of June 25 and 26 when trains will run continuously for 40 hours. The railway runs through very rural areas with little light pollution and battery lit carriages will reproduce a vintage travel experience rarely experienced for all!
The railway has some impressive engineering facilities, and the Queen opened some of these on a visit in 2004 demonstrating how highly the railway is regarded. Vintage locomotives and carriages have been skilfully restored and it is the only UK railway solely operating vintage trains!
Trains run continuously from 6am on June 25 to 10pm on June 26.
French Wartime Resistance Fighters take over Havenstreet station at Forties Weekend at the IOW Steam Railway
The IOW Steam Railway is putting on a Silk stockings and military machines event over the weekend of July 2 and 3. As with the Severn Valley Railway, it is a forties weekend with Men in uniforms and spivs with goods for sale – pure nostalgia!
There will be Jitterbugging, steam trains, and be part of the hustle and bustle of a country railway station where wartime activities meet with everyday rural life.
For example, a farmyard threshing machine will be in operation by a WW2 fighter plane as soldiers prepare for active service. Songs of the era sung by a female trio called ‘The Spitfires’ will provide a background to the event and even the ‘French Resistance’ will be present at Havenstreet Station where the ‘Finest Hour’ will be celebrated between 10am and 5pm each day.
Havenstreet Station, Isle of Wight, PO33 4DS
Tel: 01983 882204 general enquires or 01983 884333 for the talking timetable