Severn Valley Railway gears up for Spring Steam Gala

With just over a week to go until its Spring Steam Gala, the Severn Valley Railway has made a last-minute guest announcement, with the news that GWR No 1369 will appear at the event, alongside two other guests and members of the home fleet.

This comes hot on the heels of the announcement that new-build locomotive 6880 ‘Betton Grange’ will not be able to take part in the event on 18-21 April, because its testing and running in cannot now be completed in time. The SVR’s managing director Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster said:

“We’re extremely grateful to the South Devon Railway for agreeing to the appearance of 1369 at our Spring Steam Gala. It will be a great attraction, as the sole survivor of its very small original class of just six engines.

“No 1369 will act as a welcome replacement for our home fleet member, 813. This locomotive has been undergoing extensive repairs, and has now developed a problem with a leaking saddle tank.”

“There have been a number of late changes to this year’s Spring Steam Gala, but we’re determined to put on a top notch show. Our timetabling team has been working hard to adjust the diagram and has achieved this without the need to lose any services.

“Stanier Mogul 13268 will take over 6880’s diagram, which gives it the opportunity for very high mileage across the event. Additionally, 21C127 ‘Taw Valley’ will re-enter service, taking up the space vacated by 13268. And, we’ve drafted in guest loco 1369 to replace 813.

“The Stanier Mogul’s re-entry into service is set to be a major highlight of the event. We’ve kept it under wraps since it has received its superb new livery, and it will debut at the Gala in the LMS lined black livery it originally carried when it first entered service in the 1930s.”

The Spring Steam Gala will have intensive timetable on each of the four days, and will feature goods trains and double-headers. Local services between Bridgnorth and Highley will also stop at the SVR’s smallest, recently-reopened Eardington station, there’ll be a BBQ at The Engine House, Highley and a Travelling Tavern on selected services from Friday to Sunday.

For more details and to book tickets, visit svr.co.uk.

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