One famous joint line will pay homage to another in September, as a Somerset & Dorset ‘7F’ 2-8-0 breaks new ground for the class on Midland & Great Northern metals.
No. 53809, currently on an extended stay at the West Somerset Railway where it has been since the ‘S&D 50’ gala in March, is expected to arrive at the North Norfolk Railway in late August to star in the railway’s steam gala of September 2-4.
It will then stay for a further two weeks to take part in the ‘Poppy Line’s ‘1940s Weekend’, on September 17/18.
The ‘Somerset & Dorset’ feel will be reinforced by resident ‘9F’ 2-10-0 No. 92203 ‘Black Prince’ (a one-time Bath Green Park engine), ‘4MT’ 2-6-0 No. 76084 and summer guest ‘Black Five’ No. 45337.
LNER ‘B12’ 4-6-0 No. 8572 will also be historically appropriate, as examples of this class worked over the S&D during the Second World War with ambulance trains – a duty for which they were chosen because of their low axle-loading and wide route availability.
Also in steam will be GER ‘Y14’ 0-6-0 No. 564, while Hunslet 16in-cylindered 0-6-0ST Ring Haw is expected to be the standby locomotive. The vintage train, BR Mk 1 suburban stock, and demonstration goods workings are all planned.
A 10% discount will be available on advance tickets, which will be on sale from July.