Saturday, 28 September 2013

Severn Valley Steam!

Autumn Steam Gala at the Severn Valley Railway – weekend 20-22 September

We took the opportunity for an extended stay at the campsite just by the Hampton Loade Station, arriving on Thursday and stopping through until Monday.

Looking down from the train at our campsite and van

Going to a steam gala gives the opportunity to see at close quarters the visiting locos from other parts of the country as well as having a full running timetable – in this case, including night time running!

I spent the Friday walking along part of the running line where you get a 'ground-eye' view of the power of a steam loco, even though it's doing less than 30mph.

The range of locos was impressive with some special guests for the Gala.

Met 1 – the 1898 Victorian Metropolitan Railway Class E 0-4-4 is the only survivor of seven built and worked from Baker Street, London

The Duchess of Sutherland (which we had seen at Crewe the week before) had problems with the vacuum braking system sticking on

Pulling out of Bridgnorth with a full set of coaches

A visit to the engineering workshops to see some (very) heavy engineering in progress

A new wheel set ready to fitted

A wheel bearing inset, the grooves ready to take the white metal bearing surface

Kinlet Hall sporting it's boiler boards

The freight train clanking through
Hampton Loade Station at night
On the Sunday, Chris and I travelled on the vintage Metropolitan Carriage No.353. This has been fully restored to it's first class condition for the 150 year celebrations of the London Underground! Certainly very luxurious, although with authentic vintage suspension!

Lady in First Class
We also managed to get a place (a bit of a long story which includes running up the platform!) in the Great Western Railway Observation Saloon. Again, this is a luxurious coach, built for the railway owners to view their line in the privacy of their own coach.
We opted for a cream tea with only six other railway enthusiasts – a private coach for the length of the line!

This train was pulled by the 1934 Maunsell Southern Railway V Class School's Cheltenham. This was built for SR as a shorter, though powerful 3-cylinder 4-4-0 class to manage shorter turntables and tighter bends found on some of the southern lines. It was withdrawn by 1962 and is now owned by the National Railway Museum residing at the Mid-Hants Railway.


We had a great extended weekend with good weather and an interesting steamy hobby!

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