LMS heavy freight will be the order of the day at the Swanage Railway’s Autumn Gala, with ‘7F’ No. 53809 and ‘8F’ No. 48624 visiting the Purbeck line.
Both 2-8-0s will be making their debuts on the Swanage Railway at the event, with No. 48624 marking the first time an ‘8F’ has ever graced Swanage branch line metals.
The line first played host to a ‘7F’ back in 2009 when No. 53808, then numbered ‘88’ and painted in an inauthentic S&DJR ‘Prussian Blue’ livery, attended the Autumn Gala that year.
The Swanage Railway’s home fleet will also be in steam during the three-day event, with ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston, ‘U’ class No. 31806 and ‘M7’ 0-4-4T No. 30053 rostered for the gala.
It is hoped that another member of the home fleet will be ready to attend the gala, as BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80104 is expected back from its intermediate overhaul at Tyseley Locomotive Works in “six to eight weeks” according to owning group Southern Locomotives Ltd.
The locomotive was withdrawn in May, with work required on its ‘bottom end’.