80078 for Mid-Hants gala

British Railways Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80078 has been announced as the surprise final visiting engine for the Mid-Hants Railway’s forthcoming ‘Summer Gala’ on July 1/2 and 7-9.

Fresh from overhaul, BR Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80078 departs the Mangapps Railway Museum’s Old Heath station on May 29. TOBY JENNINGS

Fresh from overhaul, BR Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80078 departs the Mangapps Railway Museum’s Old Heath station on May 29. TOBY JENNINGS

The news comes just days after the Riddles 2-6-4T hauled its first revenue-earning services since the completion of its latest overhaul at Mangapps Railway Museum on May 29.

No. 80078 is the fifth visiting locomotive scheduled to appear at the MHR event, joining four Bulleid ‘Pacifics’: ‘Merchant Navy’ No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co, and ‘Battle of Britain’ Nos. 34052 Lord Dowding, 34053 Sir Keith Park and 34081 92 Squadron. Lord Dowding – in reality ‘West Country’ No. 34046 Braunton – will only be attending the first weekend of the gala.

No. 80078 will be the first ‘Standard 4’ tank to run on the ‘Watercress Line’ for 14 years (previous examples having been No. 80104 in 2003 and No. 80079 in 2000).

It is planned to double-head the 2-6-4T with No. 35006 to re-create a scene from May 1966, when No. 80139 piloted now-sectioned No. 35029 Ellerman Lines over the ‘Alps’ on a diverted Up 'Bournemouth Belle'.

For further information about the MHR’s ‘Summer Gala’ and to book tickets, visit: www.watercressline.co.uk/product.php/89/summer-gala.