by Cliff Thomas

Autumn steam galas on smaller lines

Published: 23rd August 2014

Tank locos to the fore at Chasewater

Beyer Peacock 0-4-0ST 1827/1879 will be the guest locomotive for the Chasewater Railway’s September 6-7 Summer Gala. Technically a Foxfield Railway-based loco, although latterly it has been running at the Churnet Valley Railway, it will join resident locos RSH 0-6-0T Nechells No. 4, Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Collin McAndrew and Bagnall 0-4-0ST Kent No. 2.

The Chasewater Railway has purchased Hunslet 0-6-0ST Darfield No. 1 (HE3783/1953) from Ben Jackson. Prior to withdrawal for overhaul the loco ran at Chasewater in a blue livery as Holly Bank No. 3 and when it returns to service following boiler work it will retain this Staffordshire guise. The loco will be the first six-coupled company owned steam loco to run at Chasewater. It is hoped it will be back in traffic for Christmas Santa Trains.

Andrew Barclay gathering for P&BR gala

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of newly-restored Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Rosyth No. 1 (AB1385/1914) the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway’s September 12-14 Annual Steam Gala will carry a distinctly Andrew Barclay theme with three other locos from the same builder booked to appear. The guests comprise Andrew Barclay 0-4-0STs 2088/1940 Sir Thomas Royden and AB1931/1927 from Leicestershire’s Rocks by Rail, plus Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Edmundsons (2168/1943) making a rare visit away from its home railway based at Rushden Railway Museum.

The first day of the gala is scheduled to feature only Barclay motive power, with P&BR resident RSH 0-6-0ST 7169/1945 ‘Mech. Navvies Ltd.’ (WD No. 71515) joining in on the weekend dates.

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Forrester (AB 1260/1911) is receiving cosmetic attention to prepare it for display during the gala. This loco arrived at the P&BR in November 2012 following several years displayed at Blaenavon Wharf, Newport, South Wales.

Vulcan and L&Y A class for Ribble gala visit

The Ribble Steam Railway’s September 13-14 Autumn Steam Gala will feature The Vulcan Locomotive Trust’s Vulcan Foundry 0-4-0ST Vulcan (3272/1918) which is making an August/September visit to Chain Caul Road after starring in the Foxfield Railway’s July 19-20 gala and making a special appearance at Newton-le-Willows, the location of the Vulcan Foundry where it was built and worked.

In addition, a late arrangement will see a visit by Andy Booth’s Aspinall-designed Lancashire & Yorkshire A class 0-6-0. Originally L&Y No. 1300, it has run in recent times as BR No. 52322 and presently appears as LMS No. 12322.

RSR-based locos expected to steam for the gala are Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No. 6 (2261/1949) and Bagnall 0-6-0ST 2680/1944 running as Preston Docks loco Courageous (it is actually Birchenwood No. 4).

The visit of the ‘A’ Class tender loco, ensuring four locos would be available for the gala, cleared the way for the RSR to send Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST 3155/1944 No. WD75105/Walkden on hire to the Spa Valley Railway. It arrived at Tunbridge Wells West on August 14 and will stay at the Spa Valley until late June 2015.

The hire of the ‘Austerity’ will bring a sigh of relief at the Spa Valley Railway, which has struggled for steam this year and on occasions been obliged to employ diesel substitutes. The SVR’s only steam loco able to run over the full Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge line is RSH 0-6-0ST 7673/1950 No. 62 Ugly. Loading gauge issues preclude the line’s other operational steam loco, Tkh 0-6-0T 3135/1954 Spartan, from running between Birchden Junction and Eridge where the heritage line’s tracks are adjacent to Network Rail’s main line. A second loco will also allow resumption of steam driver experience courses and support Santa operations, which will run to Eridge for the first time this Christmas.

The Ribble Steam Railway’s Barclay 0-4-0ST 1147/1908 John Howe is presently on hire to Beamish.

Steam trio for Mid-Suffolk LR gala

THE Mid-Suffolk Light Railway’s September 13-14 Light Railway Gala will feature three working locomotives. Topping the bill will be Bagnall 0-4-0ST 2565/1936 which undertook running-in turns at the Northampton & Lamport Railway during July following a 14-year restoration at a private site. Also visiting will be Bagnall 0-4-0ST Jubilee (2542/1936) from the East Anglian Railway Museum, the guest pair joining the M&GN Society’s Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST Wissington, which is presently on hire to the MSLR.

Up to five visiting steam locos at LBR gala

How about sampling a feast of 2ft gauge steam - the Leighton Buzzard Railway’s September 6-7 annual gala will be a big event with a ‘small engines’ theme!

There could be as many as five guest locomotives with the visiting fleet likely to comprise new-build ‘Wren’ 0-4-0ST Jennie and David Potter’s vertical boiler 0-4-0 tender loco Paddy from the Amerton Railway, Nick Williams’ Andrew Barclay 0-4-0T Jack, Adam Barber’s 0-4-0VBT Iorwerth and the latest addition, Patrick Keef’s Bagnall 0-4-0ST Woto. Newly overhauled after being out of service for at least 12 years, Woto passed an official steam test on June 12, ran at the Amerton Railway’s June 14-15 Summer Steam Gala and arrived at LBR at the beginning of August – finding itself helping out with Leighton Buzzard service trains on August 4-6!

LBR-based locos likely to steam are P C Allen (sporting a new green and black colour scheme applied on completion of its overhaul), De Winton 0-4-0VBT Chaloner, Kerr Stuart ‘Wren’ 0-4-0ST Peter Pan and Baguley 0-4-0T Rishra. The latter is also only just back in full service after being fitted with new tubes.

The gala timetable involves operation of three passenger sets and a freight train, with two different freight sets likely to be employed. Iorwerth may work a coach as a ‘headshunt shuttle’ at Page’s Park. The first and last passenger train each day will be double-headed hauling six coaches.

Tracks to the Trenches

Don’t forget one of the biggest events of the 2014 narrow gauge calendar, the Moseley Railway Trust’s September 12-14 Tracks to the Trenches event at the Apedale Valley Light Railway. Full details have previously been reported (see but more locos are being added and there is talk of ‘a few surprises’.

One of the potential stars, Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT 1238/1916, now seems a certainty to appear. The locomotive has been undergoing a massive restoration at a private location with completion targeted for the Tracks to the Trenches event. Having last run in Ghana 66 years ago it has recently moved over a short temporary track under its own power and was scheduled to be unveiled in steam for MRT members only at a privately owned line (the first opportunity to run it over a ‘proper’ railway) in late August before moving to Apedale.

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