Our Steam Gala is returning for 2018, Friday 9th March – Sunday 11th March. Following the huge success of the 2017 Winter Steam Gala, albeit in horrendously wet weather at times, when the Railway played host to 2 visiting locomotives, LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 61264 and LMS ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 13065, we will once again be hosting a visiting locomotive. in 2018 we will be welcoming a guest locomotive from the West Somerset Railway:
SOMERSET & DORSET JOINT RAILWAY 7F CLASS 2-8-0 53808, Courtesy of the West Somerset Railway
The Midland Railway (MR) were joint owners of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) with the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) and designed a powerful 2-8-0 locomotive to work the steep gradients of the line with heavy freight trains over the Mendip Hills, although they were also used on holidays trains between Bath and Bournemouth.. An initial batch of 6 were built in 1914 but, now owned by the LMS and SR, a further 5 were built on behalf of the S&DJR by Robert Stephenson and Sons in 1925 of Darlington.
Initially numbered 88 in the S&DJR fleet, the locomotive was taken into LMS stock in 1930 and subsequently carried the numbers 9678 and 13808 before being renumbered 53808 when the railways were nationalised. The end in mainline service came after almost 39 years service in March 1964 and like many other condemned engines was despatched to Dai Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry in South Wales, arriving there in June of that year.
Having spent over 6 years at Barry, 53808 became the 9th locomotive to be purchased from South Wales (our own 43924 being the first) when it was purchased by the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust as part of an abortive preservation scheme at Radstock, moving to its current home on the West Somerset Railway (WSR) in January 1976. It was to be another 11 years before the engine was to steam again. It ran just under 50,000 miles on the WSR before withdrawal for overhaul in 1996. It’s first overhaul in preservation was completed in 2005 and a second in February 2016.
Added to 53808, the KWVR ‘home fleet’ will include 2 locomotives appearing at their Gala before withdrawal for overhaul
- WD 2-8-0 90733
- Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T 1704 ‘Nunlow (Courtesy of Bahamas Loco society)
In addition the final line up will be selected from the following KWVR ‘home fleet’:
- BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 75078
- Midland 4F 0-6-0 43924
- USATC S160 2-8-0 “Big Jim” No.5820
- LNWR 0-6-2 ‘Coal Tank’ 1054 (Courtesy of Bahamas Loco society)
- Taff Vale Railway O2 0-6-2T 85
- Grafton Steam Crane will be in steam and operating in Oakworth Yard
… as well as a range of different coaching stock and goods vehicles.
Full details of the event will be published in due course.