BR Standard ‘2MT’ No. 78018 will be attending the Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon ‘Autumn Steam Gala’ on September 16/17.
The Riddles-designed 2-6-0 will be making its first visit to Shildon since it returned to steam at the Great Central Railway in August last year. Visitors to the ‘Autumn Steam Gala’ will have the opportunity to see No. 78018 in light steam in the yard and visit the cab.
In addition to the Standard ‘Mogul’, Furness Railway No. 20 – the oldest operational standard gauge steam locomotive in the UK – will be working passenger trains on the museum’s short demonstration line. Further Shildon locomotive exhibits will also be on outdoor display.
No. 78018 became famous after starring in the 1955 British Transport Film Snowdrift at Bleath Gill, and was withdrawn eleven years later in November 1966 after a working life of only 12 years.
The locomotive was rescued from Barry in 1978 and is now owned by the Darlington Railway Preservation Society. Its restoration was completed by the Loughborough Standard Locomotive Group, who also restored the ‘2MT’s’ classmate No. 78019 – now undergoing its ten-yearly overhaul.
Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon is open from 10am to 5pm daily and admission is free of charge, although there is a charge for train rides.
For further information, visit www.nrm.org.uk/PlanaVisit/VisitShildon/WhatsOn, or call the museum on 01388 777999.
The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre has welcomed its newest exhibit, as LNWR 2-2-2 No. 3020 Cornwall arrived at its new home at Quainton Road.
The unique Francis Trevithick-designed locomotive, on a two-year loan from the National Railway Museum (see SR464) is now on display inside the museum’s Oxford Rewley Road station visitor centre which, appropriately, is an ex-LNWR structure.
Cornwall takes the place of long-time BRC resident ‘Castle’ No. 5080 Defiant. The Collett 4-6-0 departed Quainton Road on May 19 for Tyseley, where it is to be overhauled to main line standard as part of the Vintage Trains fleet (see SR459).
Defiant will make its public debut at Tyseley Locomotive Works’ open weekend on June 24/25, where it will be reunited with classmates Nos. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe and 7029 Clun Castle.
Until Cornwall took up residence at Quainton Road, No. 5080’s place inside Rewley Road was taken by Beattie well tank No. 30585. The 1874-built 2-4-0WT was withdrawn in September 2016 after its boiler ticket expired, but it is understood that it is already in the BRC’s overhaul queue (see Roster SR467).
Unique ‘J21’ 0-6-0 No. 65033 will steam again, thanks to a £954,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It was revealed on June 19 that the Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust (the owners of the Worsdell-designed locomotive) had been awarded the HLF grant, which will also cover the restoration of a 1902-built NER stores van.
It is hoped the 1889-built North Eastern Railway 0-6-0 will return to steam in two years’ time (see SR465 ‘Stainmore Survivor’), whereupon it will become the flagship locomotive of the Stainmore Railway Company at Kirkby Stephen East, the engine’s current home.
SRC Chairman, Dr Mike Thompson, said: “No. 65033 last steamed in 1983. The intervening 34 years have seen numerous failed attempts to restore the locomotive.
“This is our fifth submission to the HLF and, at last, we have been successful in obtaining the necessary funds to undertake an overhaul to the highest possible standards thus returning the locomotive to full working order for the enjoyment of all.”
The award of nearly a million pounds marks the culmination of a two-year ‘Development Phase’ that the HLF granted £38,500 towards in order to properly assess the cost of restoring the locomotive and the interpretation vehicle, professionally design a range of exhibits that will appeal to a wide spectrum of the public, and to identify the needs of the public, local schools and bodies, and the volunteers to make the railway grow.
Dr Thompson went on to say: “This award represents a huge vote of confidence by the HLF in the team of volunteers at Kirkby Stephen East who have made tremendous progress since taking over the abandoned railway 20 years ago. It enables us to now accelerate plans to develop our project as a centre of North Eastern Railway excellence.”
‘West Country’ No. 34027 Taw Valley hauled a special train on the Severn Valley Railway on June 19 to mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating floods which nearly destroyed the railway.
Working alongside a Class 50 Co-Co, the rebuilt ‘Light Pacific’ hauled the Belmond ‘Northern Belle’ over the 16-mile railway between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, carrying a number of SVR members and supporters, passing along the sections of track which were badly damaged by the storms.
The VIP services also coincided with the official launch of the brand-new exhibition, ‘2007 Storm Damage – Ten Years On’ at The Engine House Visitor Centre, Highley, which features a number of striking photographs highlighting the extent of the damage to the railway caused by the storms in 2007.
The train ran ten years to the day since the first of two torrential rainstorms swept through the West Midlands, in which a month’s worth of rain fell in the space of 30 minutes, causing significant damage to the railway.
A further storm on July 20 2007 caused further damage to the southern end of the line, with cuttings filled with debris and embankments washed away leaving track suspended in mid-air.
Such was the damage, only a section of line between Kidderminster and Bewdley remained open to traffic, with the final repair bill topping £3.8million.
Clare Gibbard, the SVR’s Marketing and Communications Manager said: “Looking back to that fateful summer, ten years on, it is almost unbelievable to think that the aftermath of those storms threatened to destroy the future of the SVR altogether.
“It is thanks to the incredible level of goodwill, support and hard work from our volunteer and paid staff, supporters and the general public at the time that the SVR is the thriving attraction that it is today.”
The Swanage railway will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern Region steam on July 9, by hosting its ‘Southern Sunrise’ gala.
Unlike its recent record-breaking ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala on March 31-April 2, which saw a record five Bulleid ‘Pacifics’ in action on the ‘Purbeck Line’, the ‘Southern Sunrise’ event will field only the railway’s resident Southern fleet.
One feature of the event will be the first timetabled gala trains over the entirety of the ten-mile branch line to Wareham, top-and-tailed by West Coast Railways diesels and the Swanage’s own Class 33 No. D6515. The inaugural trains commenced on June 12, the first of a planned 60-day trial period.
It is hoped to have at least three of the railway’s resident steam fleet in action for the event: LSWR ‘M7’ No. 30053, Bulleid ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston and BR Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80104. The latter is currently running as scrapped classmate No. 80146, which was the last steam locomotive to operate over the line before the branch’s closure in 1972.
Another potential candidate to appear at the gala will be ‘BB’ No. 34072 257 Squadron, which is now in the final throes of its overhaul at Herston works.