HoPes of ‘union’ re­PrievE FOr tHE wHOlE OF 2019

Steam Railway (UK) - - DOWNMAIN -

Could ‘Num­ber Nine’s’ work­ing life be pro­longed be­yond the spring? The ‘A4’s’ owner John Cameron says he will know the an­swer to whether “we can get an ex­ten­sion” by Christ­mas.

Whis­per it softly, but that would al­low Union of South Africa to carry on be­yond its cur­rent drop-dead date of April/May, while it waits to take up per­ma­nent res­i­dence on John’s farm north of Ed­in­burgh. While not dropped, plans for a vis­i­tor cen­tre at Bal­buthie went awry in Oc­to­ber when the scheme was thrown out by Fife Coun­cil (SR486); in Novem­ber, the for­mer Scot­tish Re­gion chair­man was hop­ing for a new hear­ing in Jan­uary, “fingers crossed”.

Such a re­prieve be­fore ‘Num­ber Nine’ goes cold for the very last time would cer­tainly be wel­comed by many – not

least Kelly Os­borne from the Rail­way Tour­ing Com­pany, a pro­moter that has nur­tured its use of the ‘Streak’ over many years.

“Our hope is that it will be given its ex­ten­sion and we will be able to use it through­out 2019”, she said in Novem­ber. RTC is al­ready start­ing to pen­cil in pos­si­ble trains later in the sea­son for the for­mer Hay­mar­ket ‘Pa­cific’.

So, while the man who saved No. 60009 from BR in 1966 and has looked af­ter it ever since is still mov­ing ahead with his plans, fol­low­ers of his ‘A4’ – and that surely means most of us – might just be in for a Christ­mas present…

A wee bit longer with ‘Nine’ be­fore its fire fades for­ever…

How much longer? ‘num­ber nine’ has just come to a stand at Padding­ton with the re­turn novem­ber 24 ‘Bath Christ­mas Mar­ket’, com­plete with a 1920s-style ‘Fly­ing Scots­man’ head­board. Jack Pal­lis­teR

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.