1 Baldwin 778 at LBR_Cliff Thomas

‘Iberian feel’ Leighton Buzzard Railway September 12/13 gala!

Published: 20th August 2015

Buzrail to feature three guest steam locos for gala

Statfold Barn Railway’s Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0PT Minas de Aller No. 2 (439/1884) and Great Bush Railway’s O&K 0-6-0WT Sao Domingos (11784/1928) from Tinkers Park will be the star guests for Leighton Buzzard Railway’s September 12-13 Steam-Up Weekend. Neither have previously run at the historic Bedfordshire sand line.

The visiting steam field will be completed by privately owned ex-Granton gasworks, Edinburgh, Andrew Barclay 0-4-0T Jack.

Iberian theme

With Minas de Aller No. 2 having originally hailed from the Asturias coalfield in northern Spain and Sao Domingos spending its industrial days in the coalfields of northern Portugal – as did LBR resident O&K 0-6-0WT Pedemoura - the event has a decidedly Iberian feel. Pedemoura is nearing the end of a lengthy restoration. In July the boiler, having been returned from Maskell’s where it received a new inner and outer firebox, was lifted into the frames and steam raised in the loco for the first time in some 45 years. Pedemoura is not yet ready to haul trains but will be displayed at Page’s Park, possibly in light steam.

LBR’s own O&K 0-4-0WT P C Allen (5834/1912) originally worked at a chemical plant in northern Spain (not far from Minas de Aller No. 2’s working days location) hence Portuguese/Spanish double-heading is expected to be on the cards!

The 1885-built Corpet Louvet is definitely a sight to behold with its rare Brown valve gear providing a decidedly ‘different’ appearance from more conventional locomotives when it is moving.

Last Baldwin appearance before overhaul

In addition to the trio of steam locomotives and intensive steam action, an added incentive to visit this event is the final opportunity to see (and ride behind) Greensand Railway Museum Trust’s Baldwin 4-6-0T WDLR No. 778 (BLW 44656/1917) before it is withdrawn for overhaul. Following its final rostered gala train No. 778 will be withdrawn and prepared for dispatch to Alan Keef Ltd. Keef’s will lift the boiler (to be overhauled by Locomotive Services Ltd in Loughborough) and undertake work on the chassis.

Donations needed to finance essential work

While cash is in hand to cover the boiler work for the Baldwin 4-6-0T, the charitable trust which owns the locomotive urgently needs to raise cash to ensure work to the motion can be financed – see http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2015/baldwin-war-veteran-overhaul-appeal/ .

A Benefactor has stepped forward to help, offering £1 to match every £1 donated to Greensand Railway Museum Trust’s £10,000 appeal. This generous offer meant that if £5,000 could be rapidly raised it would be matched with another £5,000 enabling all required work to be financed.

Donations already received have been doubled in value, but with the locomotive on the verge of being withdrawn further help is still needed to ensure all required work is financed and No. 778 can return as planned next Easter in the best possible condition to celebrate important anniversaries during 2016.

Donors will be offered footplate rides - £100 or more around the loop at Page’s Park, or over £500 the full length of LBR. Donations can be sent to The Greensand Railway Museum Trust, c/o Page’s Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 4TN.

Added attractions

In addition to the intensive timetable featuring passenger and freight trains the Steam-Up will feature working heritage displays and vintage bus tours of active sand quarrying locations near the railway. Departing from Stonehenge Works, donations towards the cost of running these tours will be welcomed.

To avoid overcrowding problems which have occurred at the popular Steam-Up weekend in recent years Rover tickets are no longer available. Instead, purchasers of an ordinary return ticket will be entitled to buy two further tickets at half price for specific trains.

Tickets can be purchased from the Page’s Park booking office (on the day or in advance on any operating day) or on-line at any time.

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