Three visitors for RHDR 90th anniversary gala

Three visiting engines will be helping the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway celebrate its 90th anniversary at the line’s ‘Steam & Diesel’ gala on May 13/14.

The oldest visiting locomotive to the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s ‘Steam & Diesel’ gala on May 13/14, Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 Synolda, is pictured at Ravenglass with RER stablemate, River Mite, in the background. PETER JOHNSON

The oldest visiting locomotive to the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s ‘Steam & Diesel’ gala on May 13/14, Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 Synolda, is pictured at Ravenglass with RER stablemate, River Mite, in the background. PETER JOHNSON

The first visiting locomotive is even older than the RHDR fleet - Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 Synolda from the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. Built in 1912 for the Sand Hutton Railway, the 15in-gauge ‘Atlantic’ has previously visited the RHDR in 1981 and 1997.

The remaining pair of visiting locomotives hail from the Bure Valley Railway – No. 1 Wroxham Road and No. 6 Blickling Hall.

The former was built in 1964 as a steam-outline petrol-hydraulic locomotive and named Tracey-Jo. After a nomadic existence during which the 2-6-4T ran at the Fairbourne, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch and Kirklees Light Railways, the locomotive was bought by the BVR in 1991 and converted to a steam locomotive the following year.

Blickling Hall was built specifically for the Norfolk miniature line by Winson Engineering in 1994, and is based on the Indian 2-6-2 ‘ZB’ class. It is named after the Jacobean mansion just outside Aylsham, which is served by the BVR.

All of the RHDR’s operational fleet will be running throughout the two-day event, including Greenly-designed 4-8-2 No. 5 Hercules, which will be making its debut following its return from overhaul.

The timetable will feature 33 hours of continuous running from 9.30am Saturday morning through to 6.30pm on Sunday. A parallel run out from New Romney will take place on the first day of the gala, while the final day of the gala will see a procession of all available steam engines for a return trip to Dungeness.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.rhdr.org.uk.