Great Western pairing in East Lancashire

DUCHESS of Sutherland’s seasonal tour of heritage lines concluded with a star turn at the East Lancashire Railway’s October 19-21 gala.

The Class 7 Pacific (‘8P’ under BR) was fresh from its appearance at the Swanage Railway gala the previous weekend, and was in traffic each day, as were visiting Churchward ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 No. 2857 and ‘42XX’ 2-8-0T No. 4270.

GWR duo Nos. 2857 and 4270 depart Burrs Country Park for Rawtenstall during the East Lancashire Railway autumn gala on October 20. GEOFF GRIFFITHS

The Great Western interlopers were appearing courtesy of the Severn Valley and Gloucestershire Warwickshire railways respectively, and with both carrying the same post-1942 GWR livery, it was not surprising the duo was paired up to double-head the 13.50 Heywood-Rawtenstall service on the Saturday.

Although there was a limited amount of double-heading each day, the more common feature was top-and-tailed working. This created some unusual combinations such as ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells working trains with Nos. 4270 and 2857, or Duchess of Sutherland at the opposite end.

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