L&Y 1300 by Cliff Thomas

Summer Steam Gala Events to Visit

Published 5th August 2013

An interesting range of steam events to visit all around the country.

Tornado return to North Norfolk

A1 No. 60163 Tornado will be the star guest for the North Norfolk Railway’s August 31 - September 1 Steam Gala. The new-build A1 was a big hit at the equivalent event last year, a gala described at the time as the North Norfolk’s best ever event. For the 2012 visit Tornado was green. The A1 is now carrying its blue livery so should produce renewed interest at The Poppy Line.

The NNR is working on securing further guest locos but not releasing details at present. There is speculation that the aim is a pairing the NNR has been after producing for some time – watch this space!

‘Super D’ and ‘Coal Tank’ for P&BR gala

The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway’s September 14-15 Steam Gala will combine celebration of 30 years of operation and the line’s LNWR heritage by featuring two high-profile visiting locos, NRM-owned LNWR G2 0-8-0 (‘Super D’) No. 49395 and LNWR 0-6-2T Webb ‘Coal Tank’ No. 1054, which is owned by The National Trust and in the care of the Bahamas Locomotive Society. Both are types of locomotive which could once be found in South Wales on former LNWR routes.

‘Super Ds’ never visited Blaenavon, but ‘Coal Tanks’ worked passenger services in the early years of the line and some were once based at Blaenavon shed. No. 1054 spent its final years working out of Abergavenny shed over the ‘Heads of the Valleys’ route to Merthyr Tydfil via Brynmawr.

Moreover, No. 1054, with ‘Super D’ No. 49121 (long-scrapped) worked the last train over the Abergavenny – Merthyr line, a Stephenson Locomotive Society special on January 5 1958. The ‘Coal Tank’ and ‘Super D’ No. 49395 have re-enacted this train twice since No. 1054’s most recent overhaul was completed, at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in January 2012 and at the Llangollen Railway the following April. However, the opportunity will be taken to present the pair in a third re-enactment, this time in South Wales not many miles from where the 1958 train ran. Blaenavon High Level station building, currently being fitted out, is expected to be officially opened during the gala weekend.

Also expected to be in steam for the event is P&BR resident RSH 0-6-0ST ‘Austerity’ 7169/1945 ‘Mech. Navvies Ltd.’ and, in the nicest possible way, a hired lady. The latter was expected, and may still be, ex-Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0ST Judy (2572/1936). A hire of Judy, from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, was arranged to replace Bagnall 0-4-0ST H.M. Dockyard Devonport No. 19 (2962/1950) which had to return to its Bodmin home after failing an annual boiler inspection earlier this year. However, the possibility of the P&BR hiring the Llangollen Railway’s Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T Jennifer on completion of the latter’s spell at the Gwili Railway subsequently arose. So it could be Judy, or it could be Jennifer, a dilemma which will doubtless be clarified shortly!

Tornado and B1 for Barrow Hill Live

A1 No. 60163 Tornado and The Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust’s No. 61264 will be the star steam attractions for the ‘Barrow Hill Live’ September 28-29 event at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. The weekend is themed as a celebration of the 160th anniversary of Doncaster Works opening and visiting Doncaster-built diesels will also feature.

October LNER Weekend at NYMR

THE North Yorkshire Moors Railway is developing plans for an October 5-6 LNER weekend. The core of the event will be based around a trio of locos which call the NYMR home, A4 No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, NELPG’s Q6 0-8-0 No. 63395 (which should have returned well before these dates following firebox work at LNWR Heritage Ltd in Crewe) and The Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust’s No. 61264 which has just commenced a hire term at The Moors Line. Although not confirmed as attending, the NYMR hopes to secure a visit by A1 No. 60163 Tornado.

Cambrian theme for WSR Autumn Gala

Cambrian Railways routes in Mid-Wales during the Western Region era will be the theme of the West Somerset Railway’s October 3-6 Autumn Gala. The event will mark the 150th Anniversary of the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway and the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway. Both became part of the Cambrian Railways system, eventually encompassed by BR’s Western Region.

WSR stations will become Shrewsbury (Bishop’s Lydeard), Talerddig (Crowcombe Heathfield), Aberangell (Stogumber), Oswestry (Williton), Penhelig (Doniford Halt), Aberdovey (Watchet), Machynlleth (Washford), Barmouth (Blue Anchor), Criccieth (Dunster) and Pwllheli (Minehead). Obviously these are representative locations and not arranged in (Welsh) geographical order!

Guest locomotives have yet to be announced but the WSR confirms it aims to sign representatives of classes that worked on former Cambrian lines and types which could once be seen where the Cambrian met other railways, e.g. LNWR/LMS at Whitchurch and the South Wales network at Brecon.

A leaflet listing the event’s core timetable is available, call 01643 704996 or visit www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk. This has details for purchasing reduced price advanced Rover tickets.

Lavender Line lands Judy and Alfred gala visit

The Lavender Line at Isfield, Sussex, has signed up visits by the Bodmin & Wenford Railway-based ex-Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0STs Judy (2572/1936) and Alfred (3058/1953) for its October 5-6 Annual Steam & Vintage Transport Gala. The visiting pair will join Kitson 0-6-0ST (5459/32) Austin No. 1, the Lavender Line’s current resident steam loco which is on hire from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. The event will also feature a display of Vintage Transport.

Big engines for Watercress Line’s October gala

Subject to confirmation of provisional arrangements, rebuilt ‘West Country’ No. 34046 Braunton, nd A1 No. 60163 Tornado will form a seriously big-name trio of visiting steam power for the Mid-Hants Railway’s October 25-27 Autumn Gala.

Written by Cliff Thomas

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