GWR ‘Small Prairie’ No. 4566 will get the chance to stretch its legs on a main line on October 6-9, when it will be the guest locomotive at the Great Central Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala.
The BR black Churchward 2-6-2T, visiting from the Severn Valley Railway, will help to give the event a strong Western Region feel, running alongside recently overhauled ‘Modified Hall’ 4-6-0 No. 6990 Witherslack Hall, Swindon-built Ivatt ‘2MT’ 2-6-0 No. 46521, and green ‘9F’ 2-10-0 No. 92214.
Representing the LMS will be ‘Black Five’ No. 45305, ‘Jinty’ No. 47406 (following a re-tube) and Ashford-built ‘8F’ No. 48624, while a second locomotive from the Southern Railway stable is ‘King Arthur’ No. 777 Sir Lamiel.
The ninth engine in steam will bring some North Eastern Region flavour to the East Midlands. Former Stainmore Route BR ‘2MT’ 2-6-0 No. 78018 is making its public debut in preservation, following a 35-year restoration from Barry condition by the Darlington Railway Preservation Society and Loughborough Standard Locomotive Group.
The intensive timetable (with up to 80 movements on the Saturday and Sunday) will include freight and Travelling Post Office workings, and a real ale bar will be open at Quorn.