Third guest announced for the SVR’s Spring Steam Gala

The Severn Valley Railway has confirmed that No.78018 British Railways Standard Class 2 will be the third and final guest at its Spring Steam Gala between 14th and 16th April.

The locomotive will appear by arrangement with its owners the Darlington Railway Preservation Society, its custodians the Loughborough Standard Locomotives Group, and the Great Central Railway, where the loco is based.

One of a total of 65 in its class, 78018 was built in 1953 at Darlington, and ran in British Railways service until 1966. The loco secured its place in history when it featured in a 1955 British Transport Film documentary, ‘Snowdrift at Bleath Gill’. Hauling a goods train, it had become stuck in a snowdrift on the Stainmore line, and the film presents a first-hand account of the heroic struggle to rescue it.

Following withdrawal from BR service, 78018 spent 11 years at Barry scrapyard. It eventually arrived at the Great Central Railway in November, 2012, where its restoration was completed, and it entered service in October 2016. Duncan Ballard, the SVR’s head of steam engineering said:

“It brings a more modern twist to our event, in comparison with another of our guests, GWR Small Prairie 4555. It’s going to give us some variety and interest on our smaller formation services.

“These are economical and modern locomotives which are very at home on the SVR, and with 78018's last BR shed being Shrewsbury, our Gala sees the loco returning to Shropshire after a number of years away.”

As well as 78018 and 4555, the other headline guest for the event is the iconic 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’, which is making a first-ever heritage line appearance in its 99-year history.

The event has a GWR theme, with home fleet members 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’ and 7812 ‘Erlestoke Manor’ taking part, alongside GWR 7714 freshly painted into BR livery, 34027 ‘Taw Valley’ in its new, temporary identity as 21C127, painted in stunning wartime black, and LMSIvatt Class 43106 ‘The Flying Pig’.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'