City of Wells confirmed for Keighley 50th anniversary gala

Air-smoothed ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells will be joining the line-up at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s 50th anniversary gala on June 24-July 1.

 ‘West Country’ No. 34092  City of Wells  climbs towards Harmans Cross at the Swanage Railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala on April 2 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells climbs towards Harmans Cross at the Swanage Railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala on April 2 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

The ‘Spam Can’ will be returning to its long-time preservation home for the first time since it took up residence at the East Lancashire Railway in 2015, having been a KWVR engine since it left Barry scrapyard in October 1971.

City of Wells lines up alongside visiting rebuilt ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46100 Royal Scot and Severn Valley Railway-based ‘57XX’ No. 7714. The trio will be in action alongside the KWVR’s resident fleet, including the recently overhauled Ivatt ‘2MT’ No. 41241, which hauled the line’s reopening train on June 29 1968, double-heading with ‘USA’ 0-6-0T No. 72.

Both locomotives are currently being painted in their original KWVR ‘in-house’ liveries that they carried on that historic day. No. 72 is currently undergoing overhaul at the Ribble Steam Railway and it is hoped that the locomotive will be ready to attend the gala, although its participation has yet to be confirmed.

For more information about the events taking place across the eight-day gala, visit www.kwvr.co.uk/50th

Steam Railway SR479 - On Sale Now!

You’ll notice a different look to this month’s Steam Railway, as we feature an illustrated cover for only the second time in the magazine’s history.

  Steam Railway  SR479 - On Sale Now!

Steam Railway SR479 - On Sale Now!

This is part of our ‘Steam to the Mountains’ theme, with 24 pages dedicated to spectacular scenery and stunning photography from some of the world’s greatest mountain railways.

There’s an in-depth feature looking at steam’s renaissance on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, with three locomotives entering service within months of each other, making the ‘Ratty’s’ fleet the strongest it’s been in years. We also discover the joys of the ‘Jacobite’ and celebrate this Scottish success story.

Elsewhere, we find out what happened on the recent Steam Railway readers’ trip to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and discover the history behind Leicester’s ‘forgotten’ railway museum.

As always, we bring you the very latest news, comment and analysis from the world of steam railway preservation, including:

·      92134 and 46441 move to new homes for restoration

·      Tornado fails on first 90mph railtour

·      ‘Caley’ gala planned at Bo’ness

·      82045 is wheeled for the first time

·      Car collides with Countess at Welshpool

There’s all this and more in the latest edition of Steam Railway – the world’s biggest selling steam magazine. On sale now!

Get your copy here.

'Sir Haydn' returns to Talyllyn

Ex-Corris Railway 0-4-2ST No. 3 'Sir Haydn' returned to the Talyllyn Railway on April 19, after its overhaul was completed at the Vale of Rheidol Railway.

 Tayllyn Railway No.3 ‘Sir Haydn’ being unloaded at Tywyn Wharf station on Thursday April 19 2018. BARBARA FULLER

Tayllyn Railway No.3 ‘Sir Haydn’ being unloaded at Tywyn Wharf station on Thursday April 19 2018. BARBARA FULLER

The 1878-built locomotive left the Talyllyn Railway in October 2015, when it was transferred to the VoR's workshops at Aberystwyth for a 'ten-yearly' overhaul, having last steamed on the TR in 2012.

It took part in a nationwide publicity tour as a static exhibit between 2013 and 2015, and was last seen on TR rails on July 2015 when it took part in the railway's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Now it has returned to the 2ft3in gauge railway, it will undergo a series of testing and running-in trials; it is anticipated to enter traffic full-time in mid-May.

'Sir Haydn' will then take part in the railway's 'Anything Goes' gala on June 16, which will see all six of the TR's locomotives in steam together for the first time in many years. The event will be the swan song for TR No. 1 Talyllyn, which will be withdrawn for overhaul on June 18 upon the expiry of its boiler ticket.

For more information, visit https://www.talyllyn.co.uk/events/anything-goes-gala

Bala Lake plans Penrhyn gala

The Bala Lake Railway will be hosting a Penrhyn quarry-themed gala on June 16-18, with two visiting ‘Quarry Hunslets’ expected to attend.

 One of the two 'Quarry Hunslets' confirmed for the Bala Lake Railway's Penrhyn quarry gala in June,  Hugh Napier  is seen on display in the new concourse at Kings Cross. PETER JOHNSON/SR

One of the two 'Quarry Hunslets' confirmed for the Bala Lake Railway's Penrhyn quarry gala in June, Hugh Napier is seen on display in the new concourse at Kings Cross. PETER JOHNSON/SR

Hugh Napier and Gwynedd, courtesy of the National Trust and Bressingham Steam Museum respectively, have been confirmed to attend the three-day event, which celebrates what was once the largest slate quarry in the world.

The pair of ‘Quarry Hunslets’ – so named because the design worked exclusively in the slate quarries of North Wales – both worked at Penrhyn during their working lives.

Gwynedd is one of three 0-4-0STs built to the same design to work the sidings at Port Penrhyn, near Bangor. The BLR’s resident Winifred - which was repatriated to Britain in 2012 after spending 50 years in the USA – is another, and it will be the first time these two engines have worked together since their days at the port.

A potential third visiting locomotive is also in the pipeline.

Gwynedd is scheduled to remain at the railway after the event and operate services on June 19/20, before joining the rest of the BLR's resident fleet of ‘Quarry Hunslets’ at the Ffestiniog Railway’s ‘Hunslet 125’ event on June 22-24.

In return, the FR will be sending its resident George England 0-4-0STT Palmerston to the BLR. The 1863-built locomotive will be making its debut on the BLR, and will be hauling trains on June 21 & 23/24.

West Somerset delays ‘ACE’ event until 2019

The West Somerset Railway has decided to push back its forthcoming week-long ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ event until April next year.

 One of the locomotives originally intended for the West Somerset Railway’s ‘ACE’ event, air-smoothed ‘West Country’ No. 34092  City of Wells  shuts off over the viaduct near Corfe Castle as it rolls into Norden during the Swanage Railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala on April 1 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

One of the locomotives originally intended for the West Somerset Railway’s ‘ACE’ event, air-smoothed ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells shuts off over the viaduct near Corfe Castle as it rolls into Norden during the Swanage Railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala on April 1 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

It has been intended to run the ‘ACE’ event this September (9-14) with guest Bulleid ‘West Country’ class 4-6-2s Nos. 34046 Braunton and 34092 City of Wells earmarked to attend, but “provision of key locomotives was beginning to look challenging,” said a WSR spokesman.

WSR Vice Chairman, Frank Courtney, said: “We need to get this right and offer as close to an authentic ‘ACE’ express as it is possible to do on a 20-mile West Country branch.

“We think we need at least three Bulleid-designed locomotives, preferably including at least one ‘Merchant Navy’ and two ‘Light Pacifics’. Putting the event back will give us more time to get these in place.”

The WSR was keen to stress that the planned ‘ACE’ event – which is expected to feature non-stop running on the length of the Minehead-Bishops Lydeard line - was not a traditional gala and would run in addition to its normal range of enthusiast events throughout 2019.

WSR General Manager Paul Conibeare said: “We all recognise that Flying Scotsman is an exceptional engine and hopefully she will be able to return before long. The aim with the ‘ACE’ event is to offer a different, but premium day out to many of those people who enjoyed the ‘Scotsman’ event on the railway.

“Many of these people are not traditional railway enthusiasts, but simply those who are seeking an exciting and interesting day out and being treated as special passengers.” 

More information about the event will be released in the Autumn.