COLLETT ’14XX’ No. 1450 and auto-trailer No. W238W are to have their stay at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (see separate story) extended so that they can formally open the railway’s rebuilt Hayles Abbey Halt.
The original halt was opened in 1928 specifically to serve the nearby Cistercian abbey (now spelt Hailes Abbey), and was a stop on the GWR and BR Cheltenham St James to Honeybourne service.
The delightful 0-4-2Ts were a familiar sight on this working, and a well-known image by Peter Nicholson shows class member No. 1424 stopping at the halt with, by fortunate coincidence, No. W238W in tow.
Having that very auto-coach on the line, together with a ‘14XX’, was too good an opportunity not to exploit and the ensemble will remain on the line for the VIP opening in early June – date to be announced.
Read more in the April issue of The RM – on sale now!