Crimson lake Duchess to headline Severn Valley and Swanage galas

NEWLY restored and reliveried Duchess of Sutherland has been booked for the Severn Valley Railway’s September 20-23 autumn steam gala, which organisers are boasting will be bigger and better than ever.

The annual showpiece event will also feature LMS ‘Black Five’ No. 45231 The Sherwood Forester and the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s LNER Q6 0-6-0 No. 63395. Another guest engine may be booked.

Appearances can be deceptive: BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 No. 75069 looks well on its way to completion at Bridgnorth Works, but despite being pencilled in for its debut on the Severn Valley Railway’s 2017 Santa season trains, it is still unlikely to see action until the back end of this year. The boiler is in the frames for trial fitting of footplating supports and so that other fittings that attach to the boiler can also be prepared. A few days after this picture on August 4, the boiler was due to be removed for out-of-frames hydraulic and steam testing, but final assembly of the locomotive still has some way to go with so much of the plumbing on the BR Standards going on the outside. An SVR spokesman said: “If it was a ‘Manor’ we could have it put together in a month or so, but BR engines are a different matter. It will take quite a lot longer for this one and although it could be on static display at the SVR autumn steam gala in September, it is not likely to steam for another month or so after.” PAUL APPLETON

There will be overnight running on the Friday and Saturday with GWR 4-6-0 No. 7802 Bradley Manor and Ivatt ‘Flying Pig’ mogul No. 43106.

An added attraction is that Collett 0-4-2T No. 1450 will be hauling auto-trains, using one (push-pull) or two coaches (sandwich mode).

An early-morning walk-on breakfast train will run from Bridgnorth and Kidderminster on the Saturday and Sunday, and the Severn Valley Limited Dining Train will operate on the Sunday.

Eardington Halt will open for visits, although trains will not stop there.

The Engine House at Highley will have two new residents in small prairie No. 4566 and pannier No. 5764.

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