Over 40 en­gines across nine events bring cur­tain down on sum­mer sea­son.

Steam Railway (UK) - - FOCUS -

The week­end of Septem­ber 29/30 was the busiest this year, with over 40 lo­co­mo­tives in ac­tion across the coun­try (see panel).

The Lyn­ton & Barn­sta­ple, North York­shire Moors, Tyseley Lo­co­mo­tive Works and West Som­er­set rail­ways’ au­tumn steam galas grabbed the head­lines (see sep­a­rate sto­ries), but a num­ber of other lines also got in on the ac­tion.

Cap­ping off a suc­cess­ful year, with trains now run­ning as far as Bridge 6 in its bid to re­con­nect with the main line at Al­n­mouth, the Aln Val­ley Rail­way held its ‘End of Sea­son’ gala. Both the line’s res­i­dent op­er­a­tional steam lo­co­mo­tives were run­ning – 1917-built Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T Rich­boro (Works No. 1243) and 1948-built Hun­slet ‘Aus­ter­ity’ 0-6-0ST NCB No. 60 (Works No. 3686).

The Mid­dle­ton Rail­way marked the 50th an­niver­sary of the clo­sure of the last col­liery on the line with a ‘Last Coals to Leeds’-themed gala. Two of the line’s lo­co­mo­tives – Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST Slough Es­tates No. 3 and Man­ning War­dle 0-6-0ST ‘Matthew Mur­ray’ – took on new iden­ti­ties to pay trib­ute to en­gines which worked the col­liery sys­tem in pre-preser­va­tion days; be­com­ing Works No. 1871 Blenk­in­sop and 1906-built For­ward re­spec­tively.

They were joined by ‘Aus­ter­ity’ 0-6-0ST Wim­ble­bury, from the Fox­field Rail­way.

An­other Hudswell Clarke was the star of the show at the Rib­ble Steam Rail­way’s au­tumn gala – Illing­worth/Mitchell. The for­mer Nidd Val­ley Rail­way lo­co­mo­tive starred along­side the RSR’s own Grant Ritchie 0-4-0ST No. 61 – which had re­cently re­turned to the line fol­low­ing a pe­riod on hire to the Telford Steam Rail­way – Hawthorn Les­lie 0-6-0ST Ste­wart & Lloyds No. 21 ‘Linda’ and Bag­nall 0-6-0ST Works No. 2680 ‘Coura­geous’.

The Lyn­ton & Barn­sta­ple Rail­way was not the only nar­row gauge line hold­ing an event that week­end. On the other side of the coun­try, the Sit­ting­bourne & Kem­s­ley Light Rail­way’s ‘End of Sea­son’ gala fea­tured res­i­dent Kerr Stu­art 0-4-2STs Leader and Me­lior, and Bag­nall 0-6-2ST Su­perb – the lat­ter hav­ing re­turned from its visit to the Welsh­pool & Llan­fair Light Rail­way (see Nar­row Gauge News).

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