Samson returns – and the world watches online!

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway has claimed a world first with the relaunch of 4-8-2 No. 6 Samson on Saturday, March 21.

The Mountain class locomotive’s comeback happened five years after it last hauled a passenger train.

The action was streamed around the world on Facebook and Twitter with an internet-connected camera on the front of Samson, giving a unique driver’s eye view. Viewers would have seen Samson engage in parallel running over part of the route.

No. 6 Samson and No. 8 Hurricane ‘race’ each other on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s double track section on March 21, to celebrate the former’s relaunch into traffic following a five-year absence. STEVE TOWN/RHDR

TV presenter and rail historian Tim Dunn joined the crew for the occasion.

Samson had just undergone a major overhaul in the line’s workshops.

Unusually for a 15in-gauge line, Samson was designed by Henry Greenly and built by Davey Paxman in 1927 as a mixed traffic locomotive to haul shingle trains from the coast at Dungeness (often described as ‘Britain’s only desert’ because of the fauna that survives there) to Hythe,
as a money-making aggregate scheme that failed to last.

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