Great line up: Weardale event celebrates Class 31 history

THE Weardale Railway is staging a Brush Type 2 gala on April 21-22, the railway currently being home for nine examples.

The event will feature Nos. 31106 and 31190, which have not been seen on passenger trains for many years. A naming ceremony on the Saturday will see Howard Johnston’s No. 31106 reunited with its old name of Spalding Town, which it carried from 2002-2010.

HNRC’s Network Rail-liveried Class 31 No. 31465 is seen on a 10-coach train of Mk2 stock at Stanhope station, with snow falling on March 3. It will be in operation during the WR’s Class 31 event on April 21-22. JOHN ASKWITH

Also booked to run at the event are Network Rail-liveried No. 31285 and Nos. 31459 and 31465, both of which featured on the WR’s very successful ‘Train to Christmas Town’ services (RM Feb, p89).

The five-loco line-up is likely to be the biggest for the class this year, and all working InterCity-liveried Mk2 stock.

It is hoped other Class 31s – Nos. 31454, 31468, 31601 and 31602, which are not currently serviceable – will be positioned where they can be seen and photographed from passing trains.

Trains run from 09.00 to 19.00 both days. Advance bookings can be made by telephone, 01388-661394, or online through

■ Weardale Railway’s heritage service will be running from Easter until the end of October, operating between Stanhope and Witton-le-Wear. Cream tea specials will be run on the last Sunday of the month.

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