Autumn Steam Gala news

The WSR’s Gala Planning Team are pleased to be able to announce some of the locomotives that will be visiting the line and working trains at the Autumn Gala between Thursday 27th and Sunday 30th September 2018.

Our theme of “Cross country railways” aims to celebrate the large variety of locos and trains that worked lines all around the UK on routes that served many towns and cities away from the capital. These included the Bristol to Sheffield/York & Newcastle routes, the Somerset & Dorset, Midland & Great Northern, North Wales and many cross Pennine routes.

The first visiting loco that we are able to confirm is BR Standard Class 5 No. 73082 ‘Camelot’ from the Bluebell Railway. This will be the first time the engine has left the Bluebell in preservation so it hasn’t been seen working anywhere else since its withdrawal by BR in the 1960’s. These locos were common on the ex Midland Bristol to the North routes and the Pennines as well as Southern Region lines where this particular example spent much of its life and carried the ‘Camelot’ name from a withdrawn “King Arthur” 4-6-0. The loco has been under repair for much of the year, but these are now all but completed and it is expected to re-enter traffic on the Bluebell very soon.

The Std 5 will be joined by Bulleid Pacific No. 34046 “Braunton” (currently running as No. 34052 “Lord Dowding” as part of the RAF 100 celebrations) which of course as a strong history with the WSR having initially been restored in the workshops at Williton. This loco arrived on the WSR yesterday and will be working a daily round trip through August and into September on many days, but please check before travelling to the line to avoid disappointment as maintenance will be required on occasions and the loco will also be our working on the mainline on a couple of dates in September.

The current home based fleet of Manor’s Nos.7820 “Dinmore Manor” & 7822 “Foxcote Manor” along with Modified Hall No. 6960 “Raveningham Hall” will represent the Western Region routes and Somerset & Dorset 7F No. 53808 represents that most famous cross country railway. Our 2018 season’s visitor S160 No. 6046 will also be appearing. It is unlikely that our own Manor No. 7828 “Odney Manor” will be quite ready in time for this gala, but may make an appearance in light steam at Minehead.

A further visiting loco or two is still under discussion and we will reveal the identity of these as soon as possible.  Please do note that all locomotives are as always subject to final availability.
Don Bishop
Gala Planning Team