THE Bluebell Railway-based BR-liveried ‘Q’ class 0-6-0 No. 30541 ventured north to the Great Central Railway in late January to take part in the railway’s popular winter steam gala.
Around 5,000 people turned out for the three-day event on January 27-29, an upturn of almost 5% compared to last year’s event. Undoubtedly, the debut of the Maunsell Locomotive Society’s ‘Q’ on the line was a major factor in the good turnout, although with nine other locomotives from the home fleet in action, there was certainly something to cater for most tastes.
The presence of the Eastleigh-built 0-6-0, combined with the GCR’s double-track and the availability of the railway’s ‘Windcutter’ rake of 16T wagons, proved irresistible to photographers with two charters being organised to capitalise on the loco’s visit. The first of these, by Timeline Events, took place on January 31, while Dave Bowles ran another the next day during which No. 30541 was renumbered, masquerading as long-lost classmate No. 30543.
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