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Spring Steam Gala - March 16th - 18th 2018

- visiting locomotives . . .

Page updated on: 19/03/18



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Visitors' next steaming dates:

  • Bellerophon will be in steam at the Open House Weekend, April 7th-8th

  • King Edward II will be in steam at the May Bank Holiday from May 5th –7th.

March 19th 2018 - PR: Snow can’t stop SVR’s biggest gala yet

Not even the return of the Beast from the East could stop the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Steam Gala going ahead over the weekend.
Hundreds of volunteers at the Railway battled through the snow and ice to make sure the much-anticipated Gala, one of the biggest in the SVR’s history, could go ahead as planned.
While most of the visitor attractions in the region closed on Sunday, the SVR’s volunteers worked from the early hours of Sunday morning to clear platforms, defrost points and scrape icicles off engines’ wheels, determined that snow would not stop play.
And indeed their hard work paid-off, as the event went ahead with only minor delays to services.
Nine locomotives, including six visiting engines from all across the country, were in full steam, taking passengers up and down the line throughout the weekend.
More than 1,000 visitors, one of the biggest one-day Gala totals ever, headed to the Railway on Friday to see star locomotives Tornado, King Edward II, Bellerophon, LNER B12 No.8572, 7F No.53808 and BR Standard 4MT No.80072 in operation alongside the SVR’s homefleet.
Lewis Maddox, the SVR’s events co-ordinator, said: “Despite the weather, we were determined not to be beaten. This was one of our biggest steam galas ever, and to cancel it and disappoint so many people would have been a huge blow.
“We’d like to say a massive thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who worked so hard to ensure the event went ahead, and also to the visitors who braved the cold to come and enjoy this fantastic event. To see the platforms and carriages bustling with smiling faces made it all worthwhile.”
And the fun doesn’t stop there - 1874-built Bellerophon will be in steam at the Railway’s next big event; Open House Weekend, which will see model railways of all shapes and sizes on display. With King Edward II then steaming along on the May Bank Holiday from May 5 th – 7 th .
The event follows the announcement that the Railway was crowned Best Visitor Attraction in Worcestershire in the recent What’s On Readers’ Awards.

March 13th 2018

7F steps in to replace B1…

We are truly grateful to our friends at the West Somerset Railway and Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust for the last minute hire of 7F No. 53808 for our Spring Steam Gala this weekend.

Visiting for the first time in British Railways black, the 1925-built 2-8-0 will cover the services scheduled to be hauled by B1 No. 1264 on all three days.

Joining us for a flying visit, the engine last time visited in 2014.


March 12th 2018 (updated)

Unfortunately we have been advised over the weekend that LNER B1 4-6-0 no 1264 will not be able to attend Spring Steam Gala on the 16th to 18th March. The Thompson B1 Locomtive Trust indicate that although the winter maintenance work has been completed, there are still some jobs left to undertake before the locomotive would be fit to visit other heritage railways or work over Network Rail.

This announcement will not affect the movement of No 60163 ‘Tornado’ from the North Yorkshire Moors railway, and Tornado is expected to arrive at the Severn Valley Railway on Wednesday as planned.

There will be further announcements this week regarding which locomotive will replace 1264 and work its booked diagrams at the Spring Steam Gala.

March 5th 2018

You can now download the Spring Steam Gala Working Timetable

February 22nd 2018: 6023 King Edward II

KEII is pictured arriving at Kidderminster

February 2nd 2018: 6023 King Edward II

Subject to final agreements between Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) Plc and Great Western Society Limited, Iconic King Class locomotive No 6023 ‘King Edward II’ is expected to join the SVR locomotive line up for the Spring Steam Gala on the 16th – 18th March 2018.

The gala appearance is connected to some testing requirements for the GWS. 6023 has a new smokebox draughting system fitted due to the alterations made to the locos height, so the steaming ability of the loco requires proving on loaded trains. The testing is likely to start in late February. 6023 is a fantastic addition to an already stellar gala line up and we are sure everyone will enjoy the chance to see this locomotive in operation on Severn Valley Railway.

January 17th 2018 PR: A sole survivor, a force of nature and locos spanning the centuries will star at 2018 Spring Steam Gala 

From a scrapyard ‘no-hoper’ to the last of its kind – a range of locomotives with a real story to tell will star at the Severn Valley Railway’s 2018 Spring Steam Gala, from March 16 th - 18th. The Railway’s 2018 season opener event will feature a truly eclectic range of visiting locomotives from across the country, carrying out intensive passenger services throughout the event, alongside many of the SVR’s resident fleet of engines. Visitors can experience attractions up and down the line, including a busy timetable of local trains and autotrains running between stations into the evenings as well as goods trains and the Coalyard Miniature Railway and Paddock Garden Railway in operation. The Engine House Visitor Centre and Kidderminster Railway Museum will also be open to explore. This year’s event will feature a diverse line-up of visiting locomotives that spans not only decades, but centuries, with one of the oldest steam locomotives in operation, in full steam alongside one of the very newest.

Haydock Foundry Bellerophon, appearing thanks to the Vintage Carriage Trust and Foxfield Railway, is one of the oldest steam locomotives to be seen in action in the World. Designed by Josiah Evans, son of prominent Lancashire businessman and colliery owner Richard Evans, Bellerophon was built in 1874, and, despite being created as a goods engine, carried out many passenger services on the Lancashire and Yorkshire and the London and North Western Railways. Withdrawn in 1964, and having undergone an overhaul, Bellerophon is currently in regular use on the Foxfield Railway in Staffordshire.

From an elder statesman to a brand new addition – a force of nature will be steaming in, in the shape LNER A1 No. 60163 Tornado. The first new, mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain since 1960, Tornado was also the first to be paid for by public subscription. The last of the original ‘Peppercorn A1’ steam locomotives were scrapped in 1966, thanks to the introduction of diesel engines on the UK’s main line, some after only 15 years in service. More than 50 years on, and fresh from a starring role in hit film Paddington 2, Tornado is going strong and is more popular than ever, thanks to the pioneering project to recreate this famous Gresley design, launched by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in Darlington. 

The only remaining locomotive of its kind – LNER B12 No. 8572, will be appearing, thanks to the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society. One of 70 built from 1911, it was a workhorse of the Great Eastern Railway express service to London. Many B12s were called upon to haul extremely heavy loads during WWII, and by 1959, all but one were withdrawn. A sole survivor, No. 8572 survived much of the 60s and was a minor celebrity, running rail tours under British Railways ownership until it was purchased by the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society.

A rags to riches heart-warmer is next in the starring line-up. On July 4 th 1988, a very shabby hunk of metal was taken away from Woodham’s Scrapyard in Barry. Having languished there, rusting, for 23 years, while parts of it were removed for other restoration projects, what remained of BR Standard 4MT No.80072 appeared to be a real ‘no- hoper’ - until it was spotted by Ray and Elaine Treadwell. The rather sorry-looking locomotive, first built in 1953, had had worked on a range of lines including the Central Wales Line, until it was withdrawn in 1965 after only 11 years in service. The badly-corroded shell was brought back to life by the Llangollen Standard Four Project and finally steamed again for the first time in 2009.

Rounding-off the visiting engines is LNER B1 No.61264 – which will be making its first event appearance following a re- paint into Lined LNER Black and a change of number to No. 1264. Built in Glasgow, it entered service in 1947 as a wartime, mixed-freight locomotive and was used on many express passenger services between Nottingham, Leicester and London Marylebone until it was withdrawn in 1965. Owned by the Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust, which has just made an agreement to run it at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for the next five years, No. 1264 has worn a number of different names and numbers in preservation, including No. 61034 Chiru and No. 61005 Impala and will be renamed and numbered yet again this summer, into No. 1040 Roedeer. The SVR’s Events Co-ordinator Lewis Maddox, said: “We’ve got a really exciting, diverse range of visiting locomotives of all shapes and sizes heading our way this year to run an intensive timetable of services alongside members of our home fleet. “There’ll be lots to see and explore, from our Engine House Visitor Centre - packed with interactive exhibits, to the Kidderminster Railway Museum, with its fascinating range of memorabilia and artefacts – you can even take a ride on our Coalyard Miniature Railway too.”

November 27th 2017

We’ve made an error on the flyer on the Spring Steam Gala Warley Show. The dates should have read March 16-18 but unfortunately this year’s dates were used so it read March 17-19. We apologise for any confusion caused.

November 25th 2017

Completing a trio of LNER locomotives, we're thrilled to announce B1 No. 61264 is heading to the Severn Valley from March 16 - 18 to take a starring role in our grand season opener.

The 1947-built B1, visiting courtesy of the Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust and North Yorkshire Moors Railway, was used on the many express passenger trains between Nottingham, Leicester and London (Marylebone) in British Railways service.

The locomotive was withdrawn in November 1965, and rather than being scrapped immediately, the loco became Departmental No. 29 and was allocated to stationary boiler duties at Colwick.

Following her rescue from the scrapyard in 1976, the B1 returned to steam in 1997 after a 20-year restoration.

Joining us in March, the B1 stars alongside fellow LNER express locomotives B12 No. 8572 and A1 No. 60163 Tornado. This promises to be one of our best Spring Steam Galas yet...

Tickets will be available soon!

September 30th 2017

Who loves Tornado? We do!
We're thrilled to announce No. 60163 Tornado, the 100mph engine, will be starring alongside B12 No. 8572 and Bellerophon at our Spring Steam Gala in 2018. 
From March 16 - 18, the sight of two apple-green liveried LNER express locomotive will be a sight not to be missed. We believe it is the first time the two engines, in their current liveries, will have worked together.
With thanks to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the new-build locomotive last visited us in 2016 alongside Flying Scotsman at Pacific Power, and later in the year at our Season Finale Gala.
The legendary locomotive, Britain’s newest steam engine built in 2008, will be celebrating its 10th Birthday with us at our Gala at the beginning of our 2018 season. 
Despite the A1's youth, Tornado has already become an icon, finding fame in Top Gear and the 2017 family feature film Paddington 2, as well as being the first locomotive to reach 100mph in 50 years, so it comes as no surprise that we are so excited to welcome No. 60163 back! 
Can you tell there's a theme arising too...

September 13th 2017

Joining B12 No. 8572 at our Spring Steam Gala next year will be 1874-built Bellerophon.

With thanks to the Vintage Carriage Trust and Foxfield Railway, Bellerophon will be making its Severn Valley Railway debut from March 16th - 18th.

Some of you may have seen this quirky locomotive on the BBC's period-drama Cranford, when the engine collided with Bessie the cow and derailed! Let's hope all Bessie's friends are secure in their fields next spring...

Uniquely surviving Bellerophon is one of the oldest steam locomotives to be seen in action anywhere in the world, and offers one of the best surviving insights into the development of early purpose-built powerful industrial engines.

The engine was one of six almost identical locomotives built for the Haydock Collieries between 1868 and 1887, and unusually for the time, has outside motion and piston valves - nearly two decades before this type of valve gear is generally recognised as being in use.

Tickets for the event will go on sale shortly, and we'll be announcing up to two more visitors in the coming weeks...

July 6th 2017

Returning after 20 years, LNER B12 No. 8572 will star at the event from March 16th - 18th, alongside a number of other visiting and home-fleet engines. Built in 1928, the majestic 'Wandering 1500' in striking Apple Green livery will be paired with our beautiful rake of LNER Teak carriages for the event, and makes a rare appearance away from its North Norfolk Railway home. Unique in being the only British inside cylinder 4-6-0 to be preserved, No. 8572 last visited us in September & October 1998, starring in the Autumn Steam Gala of that year, once again paired with the Teaks. Plans are afoot for a further two visiting engines to join No. 8572 at the event.

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