73156 BACK FOR GCR ‘GOODS GALORE’ GALA?
Standard ‘5MT’ No. 73156 could return to service at the Great Central Railway’s ‘Goods Galore’ gala on May 12/13, after seven months out of action. The locomotive made its preservation debut last year, but was withdrawn after the GCR’s October gala owing to recurring hot bearings. However, the railway aims to have it back in traffic for the freight-themed event. Six goods trains will be in operation, including the ‘Windcutter’ mineral wagons and the newly restored van train, along with mixed freight, parcels, engineers and breakdown formations. Motive power will be ‘Britannia’ No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell, ‘9F’ No. 92214, ‘8F’ No. 48624 (subject to completion of repairs to its main steam pipe), ‘2MT’ No. 78018 and ‘Modified Hall’ No. 6990 Witherslack Hall, while ‘Jinty’ No. 47406 will work goods trains on the Mountsorrel branch. Class 25 No. D5185 will also be running with the replica brake tender recently constructed by Railway Vehicle Preservations Ltd. It is planned to run No. 73156 in the guise of No. 73069 for the GCR’s ‘End of BR Steam’ gala on August 4/5 and 11/12, the original No. 73069 having been a celebrity railtour performer in 1968. Oliver Cromwell will appear at the event, now its boiler certificate has been extended (SR478); while No. 48624 will be in action if a similar extension can be obtained – the ‘8F’s’ ticket being due to expire on August 1. If so, it will make a pair of the Stanier 2-8-0s with No. 48305, currently nearing the end of an overhaul, while it is also hoped that ‘Black Five’ No. 45305 will appear, subject to the completion of firebox repairs.
Running in the guise of No. 73084 Tintagel, ‘5MT’ No. 73156 pauses outside Loughborough Central during the GCR’s steam gala on October 5 2017, while John Palmer of the owning Bolton Steam Locomotive Company checks for hot bearings, and ‘8F’ No. 48624 is halted at signals.