THE Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley, next to Southampton Water, is a popular place for walking and relaxing… and near to the tea rooms and chapel is the mile long 10¼ in gauge Royal Victoria Railway, which operates at weekends throughout the year and daily in the school holidays.
Trains are nearly always hauled by one of the Class 52 Western outline diesel-hydraulic locomotives: indeed, it is very rare indeed to find steam working there as this is usually kept for special occasions and driver experience days. Seeing a steam-hauled train on the RVR has eluded me in the eight years that I have lived in the area.
However, a check on the railway’s website at the start of this autumn suggested we might be lucky on September 25 as a driver experience day was planned, so we set off mid-morning with hopes of at last catching steam.
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