By Paul Appleton
GREATCentral Railway-based 1948 Locomotive Exchanges participant No. 6990 Witherslack Hall, will be spending Christmas in the SevernValley after being signed up to bolster the railway’s steam fleet for its busySanta season and the railway’s walk-on post-Christmas festive programme.
The protracted overhaul of Severn Valley Railway-based ex-BR Standard 4MT No. 75069 will culminate in the Riddles-designed 4-6-0 undergoing steam tests by early December, but it will not be ready to take its hoped-for place in the festive train programme between Kidderminster and Arley, where Santa’s grotto is located.
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The SVR isalready two class four locomotives, or higher, down on last year and ideallyneeds a minimum of five for its Santa trains, so as No. 75069 won’t be ready intime, the railway has had to look at hiring-in once more, having brought in theLlangollen Railway’s BR Standard 4MT tank No. 80072 last year, which since theloss of Nos. 34053 Sir Keith Park (moved to Swanage)and 7812 Erlestoke Manor (withdrawn for overhaul) leaves just Ivatt ‘Flying Pig’ No. 43106, West Country Pacific No. 34027 Taw Valley, Churchward 2-8-0 No. 2857 and No. 7802 Bradley Manor to handle the heavy trains.
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