‘Mickey Mouse’ for Blaenavon gala

Ivatt ‘2MT’ No. 41312 has been announced as the second visiting locomotive for the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway’s ‘Autumn Steam Gala’ on September 8.

Ivatt ‘2MT’ No. 41312 double-heads with visiting BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80078 during the first weekend of the Mid-Hants Railway’s ‘Summer Steam Gala’ on July 2. DON BENN

Ivatt ‘2MT’ No. 41312 double-heads with visiting BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80078 during the first weekend of the Mid-Hants Railway’s ‘Summer Steam Gala’ on July 2. DON BENN

The Mid-Hants Railway-based 2-6-2T is making a rare visit to South Wales, and will line-up alongside visiting Collett ‘42XX’ 2-8-0T No. 4270, the GWR freight tank appearing courtesy of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

The addition of the ‘Mickey Mouse’ tank to the gala roster brings the total number of operational steam engines up to four, with PBR residents RSH ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 71515 Mech Navvies Ltd. and Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Rosyth No. 1 rounding out the line-up.

It has been a busy year for No. 41312, and the Ivatt 2-6-2T recently starred at the ‘Watercress Line’s’ ‘Summer Steam Gala’, commemorating 50 years since the end of steam on the Southern Region.

The locomotive lasted until the final month of Southern steam, in which the ‘2MT’s’ final passenger-carrying duties were on the Lymington branch in April 1967.

The 2-6-2T spent the last three months of its career at Nine Elms acting as the Waterloo station pilot, and was withdrawn from active service on July 3, just six days before steam’s demise on the Southern Region on July 9 1967.