Mid-Hants and Spa Valley for overhauled No. 80078

THE ‘Alps’ are set to echo to the sound of a BR ‘Standard 4’ tank in early July, when newly overhauled No. 80078 visits the Mid Hants Railway for its Summer Steam Gala, marking the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern steam.

The Brighton-built 2-6-4T has recently undergone a full 10-yearly overhaul at the Burnham-on-Crouch base of its owner Stewart Robinson, and worked its first post-overhaul passenger turns at the nearby Mangapps Railway Museum on May 29.

Fresh out the box ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80078 on test at the Mangapps Railway Museum in Burnham-on-Crouch on May 26. JON VINCENT

By the time this issue of The RM goes on sale, No. 80078 will have worked its first weekend at the Mid Hants Railway on July 1-2, and was set to appear during the second weekend of the gala on July 7-9 also.

During the event it was planned to pair the ‘Standard’ with visiting ‘Merchant Navy’
No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co., echoing the occasion of May 1966 when sister ‘4MT’
No. 80104 double-headed with ‘MN’ No. 35029 Ellerman Lines over what was then a diversionary route via Alton and Alresford.

No. 80078 will then become the first ‘4MT’ to reach Eridge since the 1960s when it takes part in the Spa Valley Railway’s 20th anniversary event on August 26-28, a line it last visited back in 2004.

The line’s general manager Jonnie Wesson said: “We are overjoyed to be seeing the return to our line of a ‘4MT’ tank, once an everyday sight between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge.

“The recently restored Mk1 BCK into BR(S) colours will look fantastic behind No. 80078 and our three other Green Mk1s.”

The weekend will feature home-based RSH 0-6-0ST No. 62 Ugly and ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 72, Class 33s Nos. 33063 and 33201, visiting ‘Deltic’ No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier and 3CIG unit No. 1497 Freshwater.

Further visits are expected, but when not on hire No. 80078 will be based at the Epping Ongar Railway, where it arrived for running in on June 15.

Read more News an Features in the July 2017 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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