At the start of the week before the Gala we were informed by our friends at the Swanage Railway that following a locomotive failure they would need to retain BR Standard 4MT tank engine number 80104 to maintain their own services. This clearly had a potential impact for what we could offer visitors to our September 27th – 30th event.
Following sterling efforts and a very large phone bill being built up we are delighted to say that we will have a Standard 4MT 2-6-4T after all. The Llangollen Railway and the owners of 80072 have pulled out the stops to make the engine available and road transport has been arranged. Delivery time at Bishops Lydeard will be tight for it to work its first planned turn but we hope visitors will understand why this is.
80072 was built at Brighton in 1953 and was initially used on suburban services into Essex from Fenchurch Street station in London. After these lines were electrified it moved to Swansea and was a regular performer on Central Wales line trains to Shrewsbury via Llandrindod Wells. Its final mainline duties were on suburban duties in the West Midlands.