Swanage home fleet to star in March gala

‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34053 Sir Keith Park will make its debut as a Swanage Railway resident at the line’s spring gala on March 23-25.

 At its last appearance at a Swanage Railway gala, ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34053  Sir Keith Park  runs round at Swanage during the railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ event on April 1 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

At its last appearance at a Swanage Railway gala, ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34053 Sir Keith Park runs round at Swanage during the railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ event on April 1 2017. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

The rebuilt Bulleid ‘Light Pacific’, which arrived at the ‘Purbeck Line’ on January 11 after five years based at the Severn Valley Railway, will be one of four Swanage steam locomotives in action at ‘The Works Outing’ event.

Joining Sir Keith Park will be ‘T9’ No. 30120, ‘U’ No. 31806 and BR ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80104. The National Collection 4-4-0 will be making its second gala appearance as an SR resident, having made a long-awaited return to steam at the line’s ‘Winter Warm Up’ event on December 28, following cylinder block repairs.

It will undoubtedly be the first of many such events as part of the Swanage home fleet, as the National Railway Museum confirmed in December that an agreement was in place that would see the ‘T9’ based at Swanage until the expiry of its boiler certificate in September 2020.

Maunsell ‘U’ No. 31806 will be making its first gala appearance in two years, after having been overhauled to main line standard for potential use over the railway’s Wareham extension and on railtours.

For more information, visit: http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/events/detail/spring-steam-gala-2018.