Cop two 1967 ‘Black Fives’ at Llan­gollen gala

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News -

Two long-scrapped ‘Black Fives’ are to be ‘re-cre­ated’ at the Llan­gollen Rail­way’s ‘Along Birken­head Lines’ steam gala on March 3-5. Re­turn­ing to traf­fic fol­low­ing win­ter main­te­nance and valve re­pairs, No. 45337 will mas­quer­ade as No. 45292 on the Fri­day and Satur­day of the event, be­fore a fur­ther iden­tity swap to No. 44680 on the Sun­day. Birken­head (8H) was No. 45292’s last home shed be­fore it was with­drawn on Novem­ber 5 1967, be­ing stored at Speke Junc­tion be­fore sale to Cash­more’s of Great Bridge on Jan­uary 1 1968. To play the part of this en­gine, No. 45337 will be tem­po­rar­ily ‘weath­ered’ with water-based paints by LR vol­un­teer Iain Ross, as was done for a pre­vi­ous ap­pear­ance at the rail­way’s 1960s week­end in 2013. It will then be cleaned to re-cre­ate No. 44680, which was in a much more pre­sentable state when it took part in two ‘Farewell to the GWR Birm­ing­hamBirken­head Ser­vice’ rail­tours on March 5 1967, or­gan­ised by the Stephen­son Lo­co­mo­tive So­ci­ety’s Midland Area. Two more rail­tours from that week­end will also be re­called dur­ing the gala, with ‘re-cre­ations’ of the fa­mous Ian Al­lan ‘Birken­head Flyer’ and ‘Zulu’ trips of March 4 1967. These were hauled by Nos. 4079 Pen­den­nis Cas­tle and 7029 Clun Cas­tle re­spec­tively - but with no ‘Cas­tle’ avail­able for the gala, their roles will be taken by ‘Mod­i­fied Hall’ No. 6960 Raven­ing­ham Hall from the West Som­er­set Rail­way. To give an “ex­press el­e­ment” to the timetable, says or­gan­iser Peter Dickinson, the first train of each day will run non-stop from Llan­gollen to Car­rog. Vis­it­ing Stanier ‘8F’ 2-8-0 No. 48624, from the Great Cen­tral Rail­way, will be used to re-cre­ate, as ac­cu­rately as pos­si­ble, the RCTS ‘Wrex­ham, Mold & Con­nah’s Quay Rail­way Rail­tour’ of April 29 1967 the last pas­sen­ger train to pass through Llan­gollen in BR days. Al­though the ‘8F’ will not be renum­bered as No. 48697, the en­gine that hauled the orig­i­nal tour, it has been con­firmed that blue and grey-liv­er­ied Mk 1 Sec­ond Cor­ri­dor No. 16071 can be added to the LR’s ma­roon rake, to closely re­sem­ble the 1967 set. A replica head­board will also be car­ried. A third guest en­gine, Ivatt ‘4MT’ 2-6-0 No. 43106, is mak­ing its Llan­gollen de­but, but was the last steam lo­co­mo­tive to travel through Wrex­ham and over the Ch­ester-Shrews­bury line in BR days. Also in steam will be Llan­gollen-based ‘Large Prairie’ No. 5199, ‘Manor’ No. 7822 Fox­cote Manor, and BR ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80072.

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