by Phil Marsh

Steaming through the Autumn colours

Published: 6th October 2014

Neasden steam by the sea, a Cornish Rocket and Made In Derby events to enjoy

Made in Derby – celebrated in Derbyshire

The Midland Railway – Butterley is celebrating the 175th anniversary of train building in Derby over October 11-12. The weekend will major on items in the MR-B collection that were built in Derby, either in use or on display throughout the railway.

Starring roles will be filled by Caprotti valve gear Standard Five 4-6-0 No. 73129 (back at the MR-B following a summer hire at the Severn Valley Railway) and Class 25 diesel No. D7671. The Standard Five is one of the last batch of steam locomotives to be built in Derby, while the Class 25 (one of the last diesel locos to be built at Derby) returned to service earlier this year following extensive work and restoration to early BR green livery.

Diesel Multiple Units from the 1950s and 1980s will be in operation, while the collection of locomotives, carriages and wagons built in Derby on static display is headed by NRM-owned Kirtley-designed Midland Railway Class 156 2-4-0 No. 158A (dating from 1866), an 1865-built carriage and BR Class 44 (Sulzer Type 4) diesel D4 (44004) Great Gable.

They said:

“This is a great chance to see the heritage of Derby’s railway building past in use and on display,” commented the MR-B’s Alan Calladine. “The Midland Railway – Butterley was set up to commemorate the history of the Midland Railway and its influence on Derby, so what better way than to see it in use. Even the signalling equipment in use would have been originally built in Derby.”

Rocket for Bodmin gala

The National Railway Museum's working replica of Stephenson's unique and historic Rocket will form the visiting attraction at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s October 11-12 Victorian Weekend. “This will be the first time the Rocket has appeared in Cornwall since 1985 and represents a considerable coup for the railway to have it visiting,” commented B&WR publicity officer, Jimmy James.

Bodmin-based motive power expected to be in action comprises Beattie 2-4-0WT SR No. 3298 (BR No. 30587) and Drummond T9 4-4-0 No. 30120 – both Victorian locomotives, and both also owned by the NRM.

Six set to steam at Swanage

The star of London’s ‘Steam back on the Met’, Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T E class No. 1, has been signed to appear at the Swanage Railway’s October 17-19 Autumn Steam Gala. The 1898-vintage E-class tank is owned by the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. Also making a guest appearance at the Purbeck Line will be Severn Valley Railway-based Hawksworth 0-6-0PT No. 1501.

The Swanage-based fleet should comprise LSWR M7 0-4-4T No. 30053, SR U Class 2-6-0 No. 31806, GWR 0-6-2T No. 6695 and SR ‘Battle of Britain’ 4-6-2 No. 34070 Manston.

An intensive three-train service will run between Norden Park & Ride station (where there will be a buffet coach), Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross, Herston and Swanage between 10.00 and 17.30. This will include non-stop trains, not calling at Herston and Harman's Cross.

A late steam service will run from Swanage to Harman's Cross and Corfe Castle on the Friday and Saturday evenings between 18.15 and 21.45 with the last departure from Corfe Castle at 22.15.

"We're delighted to be playing host to Metropolitan Railway No. 1 – known as 'Met No. 1' – and Pannier tank No. 1501 which are both visiting the Swanage Railway for the first time,” commented Swanage Railway General Manager, Richard Jones. "'Met No. 1' was the last steam locomotive built at the Neasden Works of the Metropolitan Railway which was absorbed into London Transport during the 1930s. It's ironic that 'Met No. 1' will be turned on our turntable at Swanage which was rescued from London Transport's Neasden depot.”

Additional gala attractions include the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum adjacent to Norden station being open on the Saturday and Sunday between 11.00 and 16.30 (free admission) and the Victorian goods shed museum at Corfe Castle station, along with the neighbouring exhibition and cinema coach explaining the history of the Swanage Railway from Victorian times to the present.

Advanced train tickets for Swanage’s Autumn Steam Gala are available for purchase on-line, details from the Swanage Railway website. Train times, and special event details, are available at or by calling 01929 425800.

And one for your 2015 diary!

The Great Central Railway has already confirmed its 2014 Model Railway event was so successful it will be held again. The dates will be June 19-21 and over 50 layouts are already confirmed as participating.

‘We have managed to secure the cream of the crop,’ said John Elliott of Soar Valley Model Railway Club, which organises the event in conjunction wit the GCR. “We are delighted with next year’s line-up, we thought this year’s was going to be tough to beat, but we’ve already cracked it!’

Model railway layouts are located at the GCR’s stations, the concept being that visitors travel on the full size steam and diesel hauled trains, hopping off to view layouts before continuing their journey to the next exhibition location.

Normal fares apply for the event with tickets costing £15.00 including all day travel.

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