‘Big Four’ liveries steal show at GCR gala

The Great Central Railway’s January 26-28 winter steam gala proved a resounding success, thanks to the appearance of two guests in ‘Big Four’ colours – B12 No. 8572 in LNER apple green and LMS ‘Crab’ No. 13065 in crimson lake, writes Robin Jones.

Crimson lake LMS ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 and apple green LNER B12 4-6-0 No. 8572 round the curve at Kinchley Lane on January 28. ALAN WEAVER

Bumper crowds packed the Great Central Railway for what is widely considered to be the first ‘big’ event of the heritage sector calendar, the end of January winter steam gala. This year’s guest locomotives were B12 4-6-0 No. 8572, courtesy of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society and the North Norfolk Railway, and LMS ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 No. 13065, courtesy of the East Lancashire Railway.

Takings for the January 26-28 event were said to be up 24.8% over the corresponding event last year. Visitors said that the Friday was very busy compared with the same day on previous winter galas, the numbers no doubt boosted by a positive weather forecast as compared to the weekend. As it was, the opening day was met with blue skies and bright sunshine.

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