BAHAMAS TAKES CENTRE STAGE AT TYSELEY JAMBOREE
The latest main line star is born again while ‘Edgcumbe’ makes one last encore before overhaul.
ATTENTION NOW TURNS TO
MAIN LINE TRIALS FOR No. 45596, WHICH WILL BE CONDUCTED FROM THE BIRMINGHAM OUTPOST
The first public moves by Bahamas were the icing on Tyseley’s 50th birthday cake following the ‘Jubilee’s’ major lottery-funded overhaul at the Birmingham workshops.
The LMS 4-6-0 had only made its first tentative moves around Tyseley yard two days before the depot’s doors were opened to the public for the anniversary show on September 29/30. It was the first time that steam had exhausted through the ‘Jubilee’s’ doubleblastpipe chimney since 1997.
Lady McAlpine, widow of the late Bahamas Locomotive Society President Sir William, unfurled the flag of the engine’s namesake country, as Chairman Keith Whitmore did likewise with the Union Flag, to reveal the ‘5XP’s’ diminutive brass plates, at the end of a short ceremony for invited guests on September 28.
Attention now turns to main line trials for No. 45596, which will be conducted from the Birmingham outpost, under the charge of West Coast Railways. Bahamas will venture to Stratford-upon-Avon, initially with its support coach, then with a loaded train, prior to a loaded 75mph trial round the Leicester-Loughborough circuit. Dates for the trials have not been revealed.
If successful, there will be a home run for No. 45596 to the BLS’ Ingrow base on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in November, and requests to hire the locomotive by railtour promoters will then be considered.
While Tyseley’s 50th anniversary represented the revival of one double-chimney 4-6-0, it was the end for another, ‘Castle’ No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, which was appearing on an extended boiler certificate just for the event. Together with ‘8750’ pannier tank No. 9600, it steamed for the last time before their respective overhauls on September 30.
‘Edgcumbe’ was occasionally posed with three of its classmates round the former 84E turntable: Nos. 5080 Defiant (awaiting overhaul), 7027 Thornbury Castle (newly arrived for restoration) and 7029 Clun Castle (in steam).
As well as the ‘big hitters’, there was an eclectic mix of other steam locomotive attractions throughout the event (see page 19).
●● Tyseley TOC latest – see Down Main, page 48.
Bahamas breathes fire again on September 28. The four ‘Castles’ await their audience on the morning of September 29.