Published: 27th August 2016
North Yorkshire Moors Railway promises eight locomotives in steam during its September 30-October 2 Autumn Steam Gala.
The North Yorkshire Moors Autumn Gala should see a lot more of the ‘home fleet’ in action and will comprise of ‘Black Five’ No. 45428 Eric Treacy, ‘Black Five’ No. 44806, 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76079, B1 4-6-0 No. 61264 and BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80136.
Three of these have emerged from Grosmont Motive Power Depot in recent months following absences. ‘Black Five’ No. 44806 returned to service on July 21 after 18-months out of traffic while receiving a general overhaul and a new tender. B1 No. 61264, sidelined for a similar length of time due to cracks in the driving wheels, which had to be sent away for specialist repair, also returned to traffic this summer.
The hat-trick of returning locomotives was completed by 4MT No. 80136 returning to service on August 23. The 4MT arrived at NYMR, semi-dismantled being in mid-overhaul, in April 2016, the boiler went back in the frames on June 21 and the locomotive passed its steam test on July 21. Following completion of finishing touches, painting and fixing a mysterious leak in one of the main steam pipe joints the loco was ready to haul passengers again.
A trio of guest locomotives add to the gala interest. These comprise Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd’s GWR 2-8-0 No. 2807 from Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, 76084 Locomotive Company Limited’s 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76084 from North Norfolk Railway and Llangollen Railway-based GWR ‘Manor’ No. 7822 Foxcote Manor . The latter also represents something of a returnee, having only returned to action at Llangollen earlier this year following extensive boiler repairs.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a long scenic heritage line enjoying the big plus of being directly served by national network services via the Esk Valley line from Middlesbrough to Grosmont station.
While at Grosmont it is worth remembering to walk through the pedestrian tunnel from NYMR’s Grosmont station to visit the engine sheds at Grosmont MPD. The town was also featured in ‘Heartbeat’ for many years.
During the gala, other NYMR stations along the 18-mile line are hosting special events. These include the Autumn Steam Gala Beer festival at Levisham and Goathland offering a wide selection of real ales from local breweries such as Brass Castle, Helmsley Brewing Co and Whitby brewery.
Gala tickets are available via NYMR’s website, tickets booked before September 2 2016 attract a 10% discount - use discount code 10AUTUMN. Visit nymr.co.uk/timetables-and-fares/fares/.
NYMR Motive Power Manager, Paul Middleton, and his team anticipate three further locos not seen in action for some years exiting Grosmont MPD during 2017. These are ‘West Country’ No. 34101 Hartland, SR ‘Schools’ class 4-4-0 No. 30926 Repton and 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80135.
The return of 4MT No. 80135, the ticket of which expired in late 2007, has already been delayed by a dispute with a contractor over copper components for the inner firebox. A statement just issued by NYMR General Manager, Chris Price, says the conclusion has been reached that the only reasonable way left of resolving that dispute is independent expert Arbitration as provided for by the contract conditions. Such Arbitration will, “add further regrettable delay, cost and uncertainty.”