Heritage

Severn Valley Railway announces famous ‘Five’ as first guest for Autumn Steam Gala

The Severn Valley Railway has announced that the first guest locomotive for its Autumn Steam Gala will be LMS Stanier Class 5, No. 45231 ‘Sherwood Forester’, as it opened advanced ticket sales for the event.

The ‘Black Five’ will be making its debut at the SVR courtesy of Locomotive Services Group at the Gala which runs 15th – 18th September. It has never hauled passenger services on the railway before, although it has visited hauling a chartered service.

Alongside ‘Sherwood Forester’, the SVR’s flagship locomotive, No. 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’ will make a triumphant return to the loco roster, as it re-enters traffic for the first time in 36 years following a £1.3million overhaul.

Other home fleet locos will include GWR No. 7714, LMS No. 43106 ‘The Flying Pig’ and BR Riddles No. 75069. Two SVR-based locos will be making their final Gala appearances before their boiler tickets expire – GWR No. 2857 and BR(W) No. 1501 – and the SVR’s now-famous purple locomotive SR No. 70 ‘Elizabeth II’ will also join the line-up.

The SVR will announce two further guest locomotives as soon as these are confirmed.

Michael Dunn, head of commercial and visitor experience, said: “Following a bumper Spring Steam Gala with more than 5,000 visitors, we wanted to ensure our Autumn event will be just as popular with enthusiasts.

The Sherwood Forester close up of the nameplate, credit Keith Wilkinson

“This first guest is a statement of intent from our team that SVR Galas really are unmissable! And, we’ve got a few more surprises up our sleeve, which we’ll reveal as soon as we can!”

The leading heritage railway says that it will not operate overnight running for this event as a coal-saving measure. “This is a critical time for the railway,” said Helen Smith, managing director. “Operating costs across all areas of the business are rising sharply. By ‘resting’ overnight running for this year’s Autumn Steam Gala, we’ll be able to conserve our limited coal stocks, in order to ensure we can run our extremely popular steam-hauled Christmas events. These are a crucial part of generating much-needed revenue as we continue to fight back after the impact of the pandemic.

“We’ll have an ambitious timetable for the Gala starting at 8am and running well into the evening on the Friday and Saturday. We’re bringing back the extremely popular breakfast trains and other informal on-train dining options, plus we’ll have goods trains and a narrow gauge railway at The Engine House, Highley. We’re very much looking forward to what we think will be the UK’s leading steam gala!”

Tickets for the SVR’s Autumn Steam Gala are on sale now, with multi-day tickets offering significant savings. There’s more information at svr.co.uk.

Photo credit: Keith Wilkinson

RailUK-admin

Recent Posts

South Western Railway upgrades wayfinding signage at Wimbledon, Richmond and Woking stations

South Western Railway (SWR) has upgraded three of its flagship stations through the installation of…

15 hours ago

Commonwealth Games staff and volunteers are encouraged to explore a new career on HS2

HS2 is encouraging the volunteers and temporary workers who played their part in the hugely…

18 hours ago

Turn back Tyne: Multi-million-pound scheme to protect railway in North East from river erosion gets underway

A major investment to protect the railway from erosion by the River Tyne and allow…

20 hours ago

Network Rail signs solar power agreement with EDF Renewables UK in milestone step towards a cleaner and greener railway

In another stride towards a greener, more sustainable railway for Britain, Network Rail has signed…

21 hours ago

Wabtec Opens First European Transit Performance Optimization Center in Derby, UK

Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB) celebrated the grand opening of its first Transit Performance Optimization Center (TPOC) for…

2 days ago

SWR announces August strike service levels

South Western Railway (SWR) is urging customers only to travel by rail if absolutely necessary…

2 days ago