‘7F’ replaces ‘B1’ at Severn Valley gala

Somerset & Dorset ‘7F’ No. 53808 will be stepping in to replace ‘B1’ No. 1264 at the Severn Valley Railway’s ‘Spring Steam Gala’ on March 16-18.

 Destined for the Severn Valley Railway’s ‘Spring Steam Gala’ on March 16-18, ‘7F’ No. 53808 – the eleventh-hour replacement for ‘B1’ No. 1264 – leaves Ingrow West on March 11 at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s recent spring gala. KARL HEATH

Destined for the Severn Valley Railway’s ‘Spring Steam Gala’ on March 16-18, ‘7F’ No. 53808 – the eleventh-hour replacement for ‘B1’ No. 1264 – leaves Ingrow West on March 11 at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s recent spring gala. KARL HEATH

The announcement comes a day after the SVR revealed that, due to ongoing winter maintenance being conducted on the Thompson 4-6-0 at its North Yorkshire Moors Railway home, it would be unavailable to attend the three-day event.

The Fowler 2-8-0 will be visiting courtesy of the West Somerset Railway and Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust, and last graced the Kidderminster-Bridgnorth line in 2014.

SVR Events Organiser Lewis Maddox says: “We are truly grateful to our friends at the West Somerset Railway and Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust for the last-minute hire of ‘7F’ No. 53808 for our ‘Spring Steam Gala’ this weekend.

“Visiting for the first time in British Railways black, the 1925-built 2-8-0 will cover the services scheduled to be hauled by ‘B1’ No. 1264 on all three days.”

No. 53808 joins ‘A1’ No. 60163 Tornado, ‘B12’ No. 8572, ‘King’ No. 6023 King Edward II, BR ‘4MT’ No. 80072 and unique Haydock Foundry 0-6-0WT Bellerophon in the line-up of visiting engines at the gala. Members of the SVR resident steam fleet will also be in operation across all three days.

For more information, visit: www.svr.co.uk/SpringSteamGala.