SEVEN decades on from British Railways’ famous Locomotive Exchange Trials of 1948, the Great Central Railway celebrated the anniversary with a themed gala on October 4-7.
No fewer than 10 locomotives were in action on the Saturday and Sunday, including two visitors, with the remainder from the home fleet, including a genuine ‘Exchanges’ participant.
From the North Yorkshire Moors Railway came the Thompson ‘B1’ 4-6-0 No. 1264, running as No. 61251 Oliver Bury, which in 1948 was tested on the South Devon and Midland main lines.
Also visiting was East Lancashire Railway-based ‘West Country’ Pacific No. 34092 City of Wells, following in the tracks of classmate No. 34006 Bude that ran over the GCR’s main line from Marylebone during the 1948 trials.
Fittingly, the event marked the return of the GCR’s resident ‘Modified Hall’ No. 6990 Witherslack Hall after an extended hire at the East Lancs.
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