Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns ‘Ugly’ 0-6-0ST No. 62 will be the star of the Spa Valley Railway’s ‘Spring Steam Weekend’ on April 22/23, the first of the line’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The RSH locomotive will be in steam alongside fellow Spa Valley resident, Vulcan-built ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 72 at the line’s ‘Industrial Power’ event, which also sees Class 10 shunter, No. D3489 ‘Colonel Tomline’ in operation.
In keeping with the gala’s industrial steam theme, the SVR plans to run demonstration freight trains between Tunbridge Wells West and Groombridge, and it is expected that the two 0-6-0STs will haul double-headed passenger services.
Although the Spa Valley is treating 2017 as its 20th anniversary year, trains first operated on the line in December 1996, with services operating over 0.8 miles of track between Tunbridge Wells West and Cold Bath Bridge.
Services were extended to Groombridge in August 1997 and to Birchden Junction in 2005. The line was fully re-opened to its main line connection at Eridge in March 2011.