Shildon cancels vintage event to make room for A4s
By: Robin Jones
So great is the anticipated demand to see repatriated A4s No. 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower and No. 60010 Dominion of Canada when they arrive that the Locomotion museum at Shildon has cancelled a vintage vehicle rally planned for Sunday, October 7.
As exclusively revealed in Heritage Railway, the pair are to go straight on show at the museum once they have been brought by road from Liverpool Docks.
Admission to Locomotion is free, and with the unloading of the A4s at the docks destined to receive national coverage on both TV and radio and in the press, museum officials expected it to be a case of standing room only.
A spokesman for Locomotion said: "The Shildon Vintage Vehicle Rally, planned for Sunday, October 7 at Locomotion – The National Railway Museum at Shildon, has been cancelled.
"This is because two LNER A4 class locomotives are expected to arrive at Locomotion from the North Americas shortly before the scheduled date of the rally. This will be a very historic event for the National Railway Museum and thousands of rail enthusiasts.
"Unfortunately, the Locomotion museum site does not have the capacity to host both events and for this reason the Shildon Vintage Vehicle Rally will not take place this year.
"The Shildon Vintage Vehicle Rally will return in October 2013. The museum would like to thank all of the vehicle owners who have supported this popular annual event, and looks forward to welcoming them again next year."
The A4s, which have spent almost half a century in North America, were loaded aboard the cargo ship Atlantic Conveyor on Tuesday.
The ship is scheduled to arrive at Liverpool on October 2.
The repatriation, the brainchild of departing National Railway Museum director Steve Davies, has been masterminded by Andrew Goodman of Moveright International.
The pair will form part of line-ups of all six surviving A4 Pacifics at the NRM and Locomotion next year.
Under the terms of their loan, they will return across the Atlantic in 2014.
Full coverage of their departure from Nova Scotia will be included in the next edition of our sister title The Railway Magazine, out on Wednesday, October 3.
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