‘Spam Can’ draws the crowds as Severn Valley gala figures soar

THE Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is celebrating a 25% increase in visitor figures to its Spring Steam Gala on March 17-19 – a rise of more than 1,000 compared to the same event last year.

A total of 4,537 passengers were lured to the line for the 10-engine gala, a figure that does not include other visitors who may have purely been linesiding and not actually sampling the various haulage on offer.

Gala star No. 34081 92 Squadron departs Hampton Loade during a Battle of Britain Locomotive Society photo charter on March 20. IAN BOWSKILL

A big draw was the presence of Malachite Green-liveried ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34081 92 Squadron, which was making its first gala appearance away from its Nene Valley Railway base since the completion of its overhaul.

In spite of running without nameplates or RAF insignia, the ‘Spam Can’ still made an impressive sight, and provided an interesting comparison with its two rebuilt classmates –
Nos. 34053 Sir Keith Park and 34027 Taw Valley, which were also in action.

Read more in the April issue of The RM – on sale now!

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