Great activity at Spa Valley event

THE Spa Valley Railway’s August 3-6 diesel gala saw the first non-preserved main line diesel loco to visit the railway for an event.

GB Raifreight’s Class 73 No. 73136 Mhairi was a substitute for Class 55 No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier.

Despite the best efforts of Deltic Preservation Society volunteers to complete the work required on the loco at Barrow Hill, it was not ready in time. The ‘Deltic’ will also miss other events this season.

GBRf’s ‘ED’ is based at Tonbridge Yard where loading on road transport is not possible, so the loco ran to Robertsbridge on the Hastings line.

The Spa Valley Railway’s newly arrived 3-CIG EMU set No. 1497 was in use during the railway’s recent diesel gala. It is seen passing Pokehill on August 5 hauled by visiting Class 50 No. 50026 Indomitable on the 09.45 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West. The former Lymington branch EMU is on a five-year loan agreement with the Mid-Norfolk Railway (RM July, p84). The ‘Hoover’ arrived in June and was used on driver-experience and public-running turns, and was due to leave Spa Valley shortly after the August 3-6 event. DAVID STAINES

There it made use of the loading bay on the Rother Valley Railway for a road journey to Tunbridge Wells. Also visiting were Class 31 No. 5518 (31101) from the Avon Valley Railway, S&D Locos’ Class 20 No. D8059, in place of D8188, and Paul Spracklen’s Class 50 No. 50026 Indomitable.

Resident 0-4-0DM No. 2591 Southerham (R Stephenson & Hawthorns 7924/Drewry 2591 of 1959) worked brakevan shuttles between Groombridge and the Ashurst Spur.

This veers away from the main running line and closed in 1969, part of which now forms the railway’s carriage sidings.

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