September Heritage Steam News

All of the heritage steam news from September.

Streamlined coach for streamlined ‘Princess Coronation’

The NRM will unveil a 1937-built LMS 3rd Class brake corridor carriage painted in crimson lake livery with gold ‘speed lines’ behind its streamlined LMS ‘Princess Coronation’ Class No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton at the September 24-25 LMS Steam Weekend at the York museum. The matching locomotive and coach, providing an image of the 1930s LMS ‘Coronation Scot’ express, will be displayed in the NRM’s Great Hall following the event weekend.

LMS ‘Princess Royal’ No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth will visit the York event, while on the same dates a complementing event will be held at Locomotion in Shildon. The latter focuses on the GWR with visits by NRM-owned No. 3717 City of Truro and the Furness Railway Trust’s GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643. Also in steam at Locomotion will be 0-4-0 Furness Railway No. 20 and Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST Sir Berkeley.

Daytime admission to both events is free, with charges for special evening photo opportunities at each site. There will be rail links between York and Locomotion during the events weekend, the NRM’s first ‘cross-site’ venture.

City of Truro on tour

The visit of the NRM’s No. 3717 City of Truro to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) was extended into August but the need for repairs to a firebox crack actually meant the ‘City’ went to LNWR Heritage, Crewe on August 1 for attention. It should return to the GCR(N) by the end of August, then move to the Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s September 2-4 gala plus a week of special operations before going to Locomotion’s September 24-25 gala weekend.

Its next booking looks likely to be for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s September 30-October 1-2 Autumn Gala. This event could also feature A4 No. 4492 Dominion of New Zealand (in reality No. 60019 Bittern) although this rates as ‘anticipated’ but not ‘confirmed’ at present.

Three more locos signed for ‘Steel, Steam & Stars III’ gala

The guest list for the 6880 Betton Grange Society’s April 21-29 2012 ‘Steel, Steam & Stars III’ gala at the Llangollen Railway continues to grow with three more additions to the roster announced.

The NRM’s ex-LNWR/LMS G2/7F 0-8-0 ‘Super D’ No. 49395 will be making its first appearance at Llangollen, as will The Gresley Society’s Great Central Railway-based GNR N2 No. 1744.

LNWR 0-6-2T ‘Coal Tank’ No. 1054, owned by the National Trust and nearing the end of a lengthy overhaul at Ingrow undertaken by its custodian, the Bahamas Locomotive Society, will visit the Dee Valley for the first time since 1997.

Previously announced guests for SSSIII are A1 No. 60163 Tornado and BR 7P No. 70000 Britannia.

Big name locos for Nene Valley gala

The Nene Valley Railway has secured visits by No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester and No. 4936 Kinlet Hall for its ‘East meets West’ September 10-11 Steam Gala. Resident locos appearing will be BR Standard 5MT No. 73050 City of Peterborough (just back in action after being out of service since the end of November), the 44422 Locomotive Fund’s 4F No. 44422 and on-hire Hunslet ‘Austerity’ No. 22.

Big Engines and Small Engines for SVR’s 2012 galas

The Severn Valley Railway is planning two gala events for 2012. Spring will see a big engines event with at least one main line registered loco expected to arrive from the national network via the link at Kidderminster. In contrast, the autumn event will focus on ‘small engines’. The SVR has not employed this theme for a while, plus the main line link at Kidderminster is expected to be unavailable during upgrading works over the August 2012 Bank Holiday.

Heritage lines hope to carry 2012 Olympic torch

The torch for the London 2012 Olympic Games could be transported by heritage rail on consecutive days next year. The Olympic flame goes from Luton to Oxford on July 9 and Oxford to Reading the next day.

Bedfordshire’s Leighton Buzzard Railway has submitted a bid to carry the torch on July 9 aboard it’s recently restored ‘Chilmark Fire Train’, while the Great Western Society hopes to carry the torch aboard its (also recently restored) 1908 steam Railmotor No. 93 at Didcot the next day. The Railmotor almost certainly carried spectators to the 1908 Olympic Games at the White City.

Kirklees fusible plug incident under investigation

RAIB has published an initial report concerning a July 3 incident at the 15in gauge Kirklees Light Railway when a fusible plug in 0-4-4-0T Hawk melted.

The report says that after the loco stopped short of the line’s Shelley terminus with low boiler water level there was a delay before the fire was dropped, leaving parts of the firebox and boiler exposed to the fire without water behind them for several minutes, “bringing about an increasing risk of a dangerous boiler failure”. Preliminary examination found the flow of water to the boiler from the larger of the two injectors was restricted owing to a valve between the injector and the boiler being nearly closed – and that melting of the fusible plug was not noticed by the train crew.

The KLR confirms Hawk’s inner firebox was damaged, that they are cooperating with RAIB and ORR inquiries, but does not wish to comment further.

Investigations will examine the sequence of events leading to the incident, the way the incident was managed, the railway’s procedures for locomotive maintenance and preparation and its system of training and assessment of operational staff.

The KLR’s September 10-11 gala will feature visiting locos with connections to 20th century exhibitions and festivals. Visits for the event are expected by the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s Krupp 4-6-2 No. 11 Black Prince, Cagney 4-4-0 No. 44 (Rhyl Miniature Railway) and a privately owned Peruvian Cagney, possibly with surprise additions. The traditional ‘Shelley or Bust’ final event departure from Clayton West will involve as many locomotives as possible.

Snowdon Mountain train derailed

A Snowdon Mountain Railway diesel loco reportedly derailed at the north end of Halfway station on August 5. The SMR confirmed ORR and RAIB were notified of ‘an incident’ but declined to provide details.

Sources indicate the train involved was the returning 09.30 Llanberis departure, with the last train to reach Summit station being the 11.30 ex-Llanberis. The points were said to be damaged and the line blocked, curtailing remaining services while passengers at Summit returned by a series of shuttles, walking past the blockage at Halfway to join another train for the remainder of the trip back to Llanberis. The last train away from the Summit apparently left at 16.00 with staff and two disabled passengers.

SECR gala replaces ‘Giants’ event at Bluebell

The Bluebell Railway will not be holding its traditional ‘Giants of Steam’ format event. Instead the November 4-6 late season dates will be presented as a ‘South Eastern Gala’ - in effect, an SECR event. Provided its overhaul is completed in time, the star of the show will be SECR H class 0-4-4T No. 263.

Other Bluebell-based SECR locos are C class 0-6-0 No. 592, P class 0-6-0T No. 178 and P class No. 323 Bluebell, with no visitors currently planned.

‘Super D’ booked for ELR gala

LNWR ‘Super D’ No. 49395 is the first confirmed guest for the East Lancashire Railway’s October 22-23 gala. The loco will remain at the ELR through the winter. The railway has confirmed Hunslet ‘Austerity’ WD132 Sapper will remain on hire at Bury through 2012. Sapper and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust’s 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80080 have formed the mainstay of East Lancs steam power thus far this year.

Rocket for Lavender Line

The Lavender Line at Isfield in Sussex is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an October 1-2 Transport Gala featuring a visit by the NRM’s replica Rocket. Resident steam this year has been provided by the Llangollen Railway’s Kitson 0-6-0ST (5459/32) Austin No. 1.

G-WR aims for full line services in August 2012

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway hopes to reinstate services over its full line in August 2012. Recent engineering reports into the embankment collapse which severed the line at Chicken Curve near Winchcombe reveal the damage is worse than anticipated, but have enabled preparation of a plan of action to deal with repair works. The line’s £1million Emergency Appeal has now reached £715,000 although cash is still needed if the ambition to reopen over the full line is to be achieved in a year’s time.

G-WR members (largely from the locomotive department) who bought ‘Bubble Car’ No. 55003 from the Mid-Hants Railway for operations on the Toddington to Laverton section are now to buy a three-car Class 117 unit from the MHR to increase the G-WR’s DMU capacity.

Rother Valley Railway bridges being replaced

The Rother Valley Railway, which aims to reconstruct the original line from Robertsbridge through to the existing Kent & East Sussex Railway’s terminus at Bodiam, has commenced demolition and reconstruction of bridges on the Roberstsbridge to Junction Road trackbed.

These are the first major civil engineering works on the route. RVR has already rebuilt the section between Junction Road and an end-on junction with the K&ESR at Bodiam, the first ‘one-off’ passenger trains having run over this section in March. The section might be used again during the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s September 2012 ‘Hoppers’ event.

Ffestiniog to restore LT carriage

The Ffestiniog Railway’s Boston Lodge carriage works has won the contract to restore the London Transport Museum’s 1892-built Metropolitan Railway ‘Jubilee’ first class carriage No. 353. The project has received an HLF first round pass for £375,900 and by moving the vehicle to Porthmadog in mid-August, an immediate start can be made if the HLF gives final approval of the grant this summer. Restoration of the carriage must be complete by January 2013 for the 150th anniversary of London Underground. The first task at Boston Lodge was widening the carriage shop doors - this is the first standard gauge vehicle to have entered the 2ft gauge line’s works!

Kingswear control centre, then Paignton redevelopment

A new centre is being constructed at the Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Kingswear station to control the company’s boat and train operations. On completion, staff from Paignton station will relocate to the new building, clearing the way for major work to commence at the line’s Paignton (Queens Park) station which will see the structure stripped back to its steel frame.

New-build ‘4709 Project’

The Great Western Society has confirmed its project to construct a new-build Class 4700 2-8-0 (the ‘4709 Project’) will definitely proceed.

The concept hinged on three of the remaining ‘Barry Ten’ locomotives and a 3,500 gallon tender being donated to the GWS. This enables components from GWR Class 5101 2-6-2T No. 4115, GWR Class 5205 2-8-0T No. 5227 and GWR Class 2800 2-8-0 No. 2861 to become available for the new-build locomotive.

The boilers from two of the donor locos are also earmarked for other locomotive recreations: that from No. 4115 for a new-build GWR 2221 class ‘County’ 4-4-2T while the boiler (and possibly the frames) from No. 5227 will contribute to a proposed ‘County’ 38xx 4-4-0.

Steam returns to Kirkby Stephen East

Steam trains will return to Kirkby Stephen East station during the August 27-29 'Stainmore 150' celebrations, a free-entry event centring on the first public passenger services to leave the station since January 1962.

BR Standard 2 No. 78019, visiting from the Great Central Railway, will join resident Peckett 0-4-0ST F C Tingey, which moved under its own steam for the first time since 2007 on July 10. After a formal boiler test on July 28 the Peckett ran up the line to Eden Valley Bridge No. 3 - the first time a steam locomotive had worked beyond the junction signalbox and over Bridge No. 2 for around 45 years.

Following cosmetic restoration work in Locomotion’s conservation workshops, J21 0-6-0 No. 65033 (owned by the Locomotive Conservation and Learning Trust) was moved to Kirkby Stephen East as a static exhibit for the celebrations, thereby returning to its old Stainmore route stamping ground. It will return to Locomotion following the event.

Second freight flow for Weardale Railway?

Having commenced regular coal operations over the Weardale Railway to the national network, the possibility of further freight traffic has arisen after the Sherburn Stone Company secured planning permission to extract 2.5m tonnes of sand and gravel, over 16 years, from a quarry at Low Harperley, between Witton le Wear and Wolsingham. A processing plant with a loading bay to enable dispatch of the products via the Weardale Railway and Bishop Auckland is part of the plan.

Isle of Wight now Isle of Red

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway, famed for its gloriously restored green coaches, has turned out two vehicles in red for the first time in its history during its 40th anniversary year. LBSCR-designed composite bogie coach No. S6349 dating from 1924 now carries an unlined BR crimson livery, the colour of many carriages on the island’s rail system during the 1950s. These finally disappeared in 1961. It was followed by ex-SR PMV No. S1046 being repainted in red, but a different shade reflecting the mainland colour it carried when transferred from the mainland in October 1950.

With 02 0-4-4T No. W24 Calbourne presently in very early 1950’s livery the IOWSR can present trains portraying the period around 1950 when trains of mixed livery carriages ran on the island.

Former SECR brake third No. S4145 will be next for repainting and will carry lined crimson, a colour recalling the shade of red applied at Newport in July 1950 which was slightly lighter than that applied on the mainland.

Double Standards at Llangollen

Great Central Railway-based BR Standard 2 No. 78019 will visit the Llangollen Railway’s September 9-11 Autumn Steam Gala. By joining Llangollen resident BR 2-6-4T No. 80072 there should be little surprise the event is being entitled ‘Double Standards’!

Other locos in the pool to appear are ‘Black Five’ No. 44806 Kenneth Aldcroft, No. 7822 Foxcote Manor, GWR 2-8-0 No. 3802 and Pannier No. 6430.

‘Jinty’ ventures into South Devon

The South Devon Railway’s August 26-29 ‘Rails & Ales’ event will feature a guest appearance by LMS 3F ‘Jinty’ No. 47406 from the Great Central Railway - the first time an ex-Midland tank loco has run on the SDR.

SDR-based Pannier No. 5786 (following return from hire at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway and prior to withdrawal for overhaul in September on expiry of its boiler ticket) plus GWR 0-6-0 No. 3205 are also expected to participate.

Visiting locos for Didcot’s 50th anniversary

The Great Western Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations in September at Didcot will feature visits by South Devon Railway-based GWR 0-6-0 No. 3205 and Dennis Howells’ Pannier No. 9466. Both will appear over September 10-11, No. 9466 working in tandem with Didcot’s Pannier No. 3738. Further steam action will be provided by Railmotor No. 93 and broad gauge replica 2-2-2 Fire Fly.

The Saturday will also feature the official handover of Brown-Boveri Gas Turbine prototype No. 18000 from the Pete Waterman Trust to Didcot Railway Centre’s custody and official naming of a First Great Western HST power unit as Great Western Society 1961 - 2011: Didcot Railway Centre.

Over September 17-18 GWR 0-4-2T No. 1450 will also visit, joining Nos. 3205 and 9466 in steam, supported by the Railmotor and Didcot’s GWR Diesel Railcar No. 22.

George Stephenson to return to Churnet Valley

‘Black Five’ No. 44767 George Stephenson is to return to the Churnet Valley Railway for a visit likely to commence around mid-October and continue until the end of March 2012.

No. 44767 visited the CVR for last November’s opening of the Leekbrook Junction to Cauldon Lowe line which had been revived by Moorland City Railway. MCR is now resurrecting the Leekbrook Junction to Stoke line and there are strong indications the ‘Black Five’ is returning to be available for a further celebratory opening, probably around three and a half miles of line for passenger use from Leekbrook Junction to Endon in November.

CVR-based USATC S160 2-8-0 No. 6046 is also scheduled to enter service in November following a major overhaul.

Moorland City Railway’s ultimate objective is the carriage of freight to the national network at Stoke, not just extending the CVR’s heritage passenger operations.

Chaloner steams the length of Welsh Highland

On July 23, De Winton 0-4-0VBT Chaloner steamed the length of the Welsh Highland Railway, the longest trip ever undertaken by the 1877-built loco bought from Pen-yr-Orsedd slate quarry by Alf Fisher in 1960.

Chaloner is also the oldest loco to traverse the length of the revived WHR, the epic journey commencing from Caernarfon (with two wagons carrying coal supplies and support crew) at 13.00. It finished at 19.00 (as planned) at Pen-y-Mount, the Porthmadog base of the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway.

Chaloner appeared the following day, and July 30-31, at the WHHR then transferred (by rail) over the WHR’s cross-town link to the Ffestiniog Railway on August 6, running the length of the FR to Blaenau with three slate wagons the following afternoon, thus covering the full 40-mile FR/WHR. After appearing on the FR over August 13-14 Chaloner returned to its Leighton Buzzard Railway base.

Canadian caboose on Essex prairie

A 1981-built Canadian Pacific caboose was delivered to the Mangapps Farm Railway Museum in mid-July. Known as Conductor’s Van No. 434677 in Canada (a brake van in UK parlance) it was constructed in 1981 by CPR in Montreal. Its journey to Essex started in Fairfield, Iowa, USA and involved travelling nearly 2,000 miles on its own wheels to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then by sea to Liverpool and on by road to Burnham. It is believed to be the only genuine standard gauge vehicle of its type in Britain.

N2 guest at Swanage Gala – maybe an A4 as well?

The Gresley Society’s Great Central-based LNER N2 0-6-2T No. 1744 will join five home-based locos for the Swanage Railway’s September 9-11 Steam Gala: No. 34070 Manston, No. 34028 Eddystone, 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80104, GWR 0-6-2T No. 6695 and LSWR M7 0-4-4T No. 53. It is possible, but not confirmed yet as definite, that A4 No. 60019 Bittern, in blue-liveried form as No. 4492 Dominion of New Zealand, might also appear, linked around a rail tour. If it does it will be the first A4 ever to run on the Swanage branch.

Leighton Buzzard gala to mark conversion from steam

When the original Leighton Buzzard Light Railway abandoned steam it is believed to have become the first permanent railway in Britain, possibly the world, to be exclusively worked by internal combustion motive power. To mark the 90th anniversary of that change the Leighton Buzzard Railway is holding an Internal Combustion gala on October 1.

This is also the 30th anniversary of the last sand quarry branch in the Leighton Buzzard area being closed. A special timetable will offer as many petrol and diesel locomotives in action as possible.

Sir Gomer joins South Wales steam event

Peckett 0-6-0ST Sir Gomer from the Battlefield Line is the latest loco to be confirmed as making a guest appearance at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway’s ‘Industrial Steam of South Wales’ themed September 17-18 Autumn Steam Gala. Previously announced visitors to the event are Peckett 0-4-0ST Whitehead (1163/08) and Peckett 0-6-0ST Mardy No. 1 (The ‘Mardy Monster’).

One loco leaves, another arrives at Chasewater

Long-time Chasewater Railway resident Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST 1964/29 has been sold and will relocate to a new base (understood to be the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway) following an annual boiler examination.

Ben Jackson’s Hunslet 0-6-0ST Darfield No. 1 (HE3783/53) is going to Chasewater for an extended stay and will appear in the line’s September 10-11 Industrial Gala, along with Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST 1223/11 Colin McAndrew, RSH 0-6-0T 7684/1951 Nechells No. 4 and Hawthorne Leslie 0-4-0ST 2780/1909 Asbestos (the boiler ticket of which expires in January 2012). A visiting loco may be added to the line-up.

A visiting steam loco on the 2ft gauge line at Brownhills West is also possible.

Spa Valley extension recognised on the big stage

The Spa Valley Railway’s extension to Eridge received a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Heritage Category of the annual Network Rail Partnership awards. First prize in the category went to Skanska for works associated with the Thameslink programme. To have made the shortlist, let alone be recognised in this way, is considered a huge achievement for an all-volunteer heritage railway project considering the multi-£million projects of national importance which were also nominated.

Llangollen to run ‘bus replacement’ service to Corwen

A ‘rail replacement’ service between Glyndyfrdwy and Corwen bus station will run over August 26-27 linked with the 100th anniversary of the Crosville bus company while raising local awareness of the Llangollen Railway’s project to extend from Carrog back to Corwen. The Crosville company was founded in 1906, entering the bus business in 1911 with a Chester - Ellesmere Port service. Some green Arriva buses are operating in the Dee Valley area carrying a Crosville livery for this reason

Chevallier returns to its Whipsnade ‘home’

Manning Wardle 0-6-2T Chevallier returned to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park on July 23. The 2ft 6in gauge loco was built for the Chattenden & Upnor Railway, sold to Bowater’s paper operation in 1950, bought by Sir William McAlpine in 1968 and on August 26 1970 worked the first train on the new railway built at Whipsnade Zoo. Chevallier last steamed at Whipsnade in late 1995.

In June 2005 Sir William sold Chevallier to Bill Parker, who runs the Flour Mill works in the Forest of Dean where it was taken for an extensive overhaul. The loco appeared at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s gala last September.

Back at Whipsnade after a 16 year absence, Chevallier was handling passenger services solo on July 27. It is likely to stay at Whipsnade for the rest of this summer.

Mallet and B class for WHR Superpower event

The Statfold Barn Railway’s Jung 0-4-4-0T Mallet (4878/1930) Jatibarang No. 9 will return to the Welsh Highland Railway to appear in the September 10-11 Superpower weekend. Also visiting is Adrian Shooter’s Darjeeling Himalayan Railway B-Class 0-4-0ST No. 19 (SS3518/1888) from the Beeches Light Railway. Triple-headed Garratt NG/G 16s and Ffestiniog Railway Hunslet 2-4-0STTs Linda and Blanche double-heading over the WHR are promised.

Bure Valley celebrates 21st

The Bure Valley Railway celebrates the 21st anniversary of its opening with a September 24-25 Steam Gala featuring three visiting locos. These include Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway 4-8-2 No. 6 Samson, which hauled the first BVR train on July 10 1990. Also visiting is RH&DR 4-6-2 No. 2 Northern Chief (the only Romney loco never to have previously visited the BVR) and the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s 2-6-2 Northern Rock.

Local residents ‘discover’ local lines

The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway attracted over 500 local people to the line with a cut price fare promotion (£3 instead of £11.90) in July. The offer arose when many nearby residents admitted that despite being familiar with the railway they had not travelled on it for many years. One lady told WLLR staff she was travelling over the line for the first time since 1923!

The Leighton Buzzard Railway held a special ‘Sandhills Sunday’ event on July 17 aimed at introducing residents of new housing constructed on the site of an old sand quarry adjacent to Page’s Park to what the line had to offer. Special attractions were booked with the aid of grants from Leighton-Linslade Town Council and the Bedfordshire & Luton Community Fund while LBR offered half-fares to Sandhills residents and footplate rides for all visitors. The day was rated a big success with many of LBR’s neighbours visiting the railway for the first time.


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