by Phil Marsh

October preserved railway gala previews

Published: 11th September 2014

Autumn gala ends 20th anniversary celebrations at Chinnor

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway 20th anniversary season is rounded off for enthusiasts with a mixed traction gala on Sunday 12th October. A free vintage connecting bus service will run between Princes Risborough and Chinnor stations connecting with Chiltern Railways’ services between Marylebone, Banbury, Birmingham and Aylesbury. First departure is at 0857hrs from Princes Risborough and the last departure from Chinnor is at 1810hrs.

Everything that is capable of operating will be used on trains including the sole surviving Class 17 No. D8568, the sole surviving Clayton diesel locomotive. Other diesels booked are ex War department - Ruston & Hornsby Diesel (Army No. 420) ‘Iris’ and ex BR Wolverton Works shunter D3018 Haversham. The Chinnor Class 121 Bubble car’ No. W550923 will also be used and steam is represented by ex GWR Pannier Tank No. 1369.

Two train consists will be used, one a mixed traffic branch line rake the other a ‘main line’ three carriage train. The Class 121 will operate a shuttle service between Chinnor and Wainhill crossing.

Morayshire for GCR gala plus Cromwell & Cromwell!

The Great Central Railway is still finalising details of its October 2-5 Autumn Steam Gala, but two guest locomotives are definitely expected. The big attraction for most will be Gresley D49 4-4-0 No. 62712 Morayshire. Owned by National Museums of Scotland and based at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, the loco is rarely seen away from its home line – and this will be its first appearance anywhere other than Bo’ness since being painted BR lined black accompanied by acquisition of its BR number in spring this year – the first time in preservation it has appeared in this form. Its boiler ticket expires at the end of 2015 and when it returns from overhaul it will revert to its familiar LNER apple green form as LNER No. 246.

The gala will also feature The 76084 Locomotive Company’s BR Standard 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76084 appearing during a four week ‘holiday’ away from its North Norfolk Railway base which commences at the end of September. The loco has exclusively run at the NNR since its return to steam in July 2013 other than a nine-week spell at the East Lancashire Railway last December-January.

The GCR’s autumn event is likely to also feature ‘Britannia’ No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell following its summer main line operations and 9F No. 92214, now sporting lined green livery and named Cromwell, a reference to the Cromwell Tools company which was founded by the 9F’s owner, Michael Gregory.

The full gala fleet awaits confirmation but is likely to include GNR N2 No. 1744, SR ‘King Arthur’ No. 777 Sir Lamiel, LMS 3F No. 47406, 8F No. 48624, 2MT No. 46521 and 2MT No. 78019. A major bonus could be the return from overhaul of ‘Modified Hall’ No. 6990 Witherslack Hall, but whether work will be completed in time to enable this is not currently definite.

The GCR can be reached by rail to Loughborough main line and then a 15 minute walk to the GCR’s preserved station.

Streamlined Steam Festival at East Lancashire Railway

The East Lancashire Railway’s October 18-19 Autumn Steam Gala has a distinctly streamlined feel. The North American A4s No. 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower and No. 60010 Dominion of Canada have gone home but with memories of the NRM’s spectacular Great Gatherings still strong the ELR has gone for a streamlined A4 theme for its autumn steam finale by booking visits by A4 Pacifics No. 60009 Union of South Africa and No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley.

Another big attraction for the event will be the ELR’s own LMS Hughes-Fowler ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 No. 13065, just returned to service and appearing in its first gala since completion of a lengthy and extensive overhaul. Other locos to appear comprise John Cameron’s K4 No. 61994 The Great Marquess (which has been a mainstay of ELR steam since March, this year having been a bit tight for ELR steam pending the return of the ‘Crab’), The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust’s 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80080, resident Jinty No. 47324, Hunslet 0-6-0ST 3163/1943 Sapper and Chris Beet’s Peckett 0-4-0ST May (1370/1915) acting as station pilot at Bury Bolton Street station.

The ELR is reached by the Manchester Metro tram system which links the main Manchester rail stations.

Great Western in Southern stronghold

The Mid-Hants Railway is firmly in the Southern camp, but its October 24-26 Autumn Steam Gala will produce a Western-influenced array of big-name motive power on the Alresford to Alton line. The visiting steam fleet is set to comprise ‘Britannia’ No. 70000 Britannia, GWR ‘Castle’ No. 5029 Nunney Castle, GWR ‘Hall’ No. 6960 Raveningham Hall, GWR 2-8-0T No. 4270 and GWR ‘Manor’ No. 7812 Erlestoke Manor – plus Mike Little’s GWR 0-4-2T No. 1450 accompanied by auto coach No. W231.

The home fleet’s 9F No. 92212 should also feature, reinforcing the impression of a Great Western incursion into Hampshire!

The Mid Hants Railway shares Alton station with South West Trains with a frequent service to Waterloo and Woking.

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