419 and 828 united at Bo’ness
November meeting of McIntosh engines celebrates ‘True Line’s’ pomp.
THE TWO ENGINES SET EACH OTHER OFF REALLY WELL
JIM VERTH, SRPS
John F. McIntosh’s surviving pair of ‘Caley’ engines made for one of the most successful enthusiast events in the history of the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.
Two thousand tickets to travel were sold, as enthusiasts flocked to the banks of the Firth of Forth on November 2-4, where ‘439’ 0-4-4T No. 419 made its debut appearance following a nine-year overhaul, and was joined by ‘812’ 0-6-0 No. 828, making its first visit from the Strathspey Railway.
It was the first time that the duo had been brought together in preservation, providing a contrast between the dark St Rollox blue worn by No. 828 and the light Perth shade carried by No. 419.
The Edwardian feel was further enhanced by the use of the resident pair of 1920s Caledonian Railway corridor carriages, and a ride in these commanded a £5 supplement.
Jim Verth, vice-chairman of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, which owns No. 419, told Steam Railway: “We received great comments from visitors – and the two engines set each other off really well.
“419 ran beautifully, with a nice sharp exhaust, and we’re very pleased with the valve timing. The Westinghouse pump, which was once the bane of my life, is working well too.
“However, it’s always been a bit slippy. On one run through the trees it slipped badly and was down to walking pace, so it was taken very steadily to Manuel. We’re going to put the sanders back into operation this winter.”
The ‘Caledonian Reunion’ event was followed by a series of photographic charters, exploiting the rare chance to see No. 828 paired with pre-Grouping livery stock, before its return north to Aviemore.
The ‘439’s’ next scheduled turns will be on the BKR’s Black Bun specials on December 30/31, top-and-tailed with Austerity 0-6-0ST No. 19.
An official rededication ceremony will follow next spring, coinciding with the launch of a new book on the engine, published by the Caledonian Railway Association.
Mr Verth told Steam Railway that there have not yet been any expressions of interest from other railways wishing to hire No. 419 since it returned to steam, although “two or three have previously asked.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we received a few offers,” he added. “We’d be up for allowing it to go out, provided that it’s the right railway… We know that the Severn Valley, which had 828, is always
pleased to see blue engines, but let’s wait and see.” The SRPS is now expecting ‘D49’ No. 246 Morayshire to return from its £200,000-plus overhaul at Llangollen next spring, having previously anticipated that it would be finished this autumn.
The Gresley 4-4-0, owned by Scottish Museums, will undergo running-in trials in North Wales before returning to Bo’ness to have its LNER Darlington-style Apple green livery applied.
“We’ll keep it at Bo’ness in 2019,” Mr Verth said, “but in 2020 we’ll look at longer term hire to a couple of railways.”
Together at last: Nos. 419 and 828 are posed with vintage stock at bo’ness during one of the four photo-charters arranged by In Search of Steam.
The one-off sight of a blue No. 828 paired with authentic ‘Caley’ stock. The ‘812’ approaches Manuel on November 10.
Autumn light accentuates the ‘really useful’ lines of No. 419 at Tod’s Mill on November 9.