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.
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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