The first visiting locomotive has been announced for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s forthcoming Cotswold Festival of Steam on May 27-29.
Playing to the gala’s planned ‘Workhorses of Steam’ theme is Stanier ‘Black Five’ No. 45305, visiting courtesy of the Great Central Railway and the 5305 Locomotive Association.
Although no other locomotives have been announced, it is planned to have at least eight engines in steam for the three-day event, with up to four visiting locomotives bolstering the GWSR’s resident steam fleet.
Expected to run at the gala are Churchward ‘28XX’ No. 2807, ‘42XX’ 2-8-0T No. 4270, ‘Manor’ No. 7820 Dinmore Manor, ‘Modified Hall’ No. 7903 Foremarke Hall and ‘Merchant Navy’ No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co.
The latter made its public debut at the Cotswold Festival of Steam event last year and, because it was officially designated a mixed traffic engine, fits in with the gala’s theme – despite being nominally an express passenger locomotive.
The ‘Merchant Navy’ will be making its first gala appearance away from the ‘GlosWarks’ later this year when it takes part in the Mid-Hants Railway’s Summer Gala on July 1/2 and 7-9. The Bulleid 4-6-2 will be celebrating 50 years since the end of Southern Region steam alongside ‘Battle of Britain’ Nos. 34052 Lord Dowding, 34053 Sir Keith Park and 34081 92 Squadron.