Autumn spectaculars at the Leighton Buzzard Railway

Stephen Doughty, Leighton Buzzard Railway  |  Published: Nov 4th 2017

This autumn has seen three spectacular events for the enthusiast at the Leighton Buzzard Railway, now celebrating 50 years of preservation and almost 100 years of continuous operations.

The ’50 Not Out’ gala over the weekend of September 30th – October 1st saw a total of eleven steam locomotives in use, plus fifteen petrol and diesel locomotives from the railway’s large collection. Highlights of the weekend included the reuniting of former Pen-tr-Orsedd quarry locomotives ‘Chaloner’ and ‘Diana’ working together for the first time since 1960. Looking to the future, demonstration freight trains were operated over the projected extension north of Stonehenge Station, with its 1 in 27 gradient to the summit at Mundays Hill.

On the Saturday evening all eleven locomotives paraded in steam through Pages Park station, along with under overhaul Avonside 0-4-0T ‘Sezela’. Commentary was provided by veteran LBR member and Vice President Alf Fisher.

 

The full loco list was as follows:

 

1924 Bagnall 0-4-0 “Woto”

1909 Kerr Stuart 0-4-0 “Diana”

1925 Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 “Jack”

2006 Kerr Stuart ‘Wren’ replica “Jennie”   

 

Leighton Buzzard resident locos in action included:

 

De Winton 0-4-0 vertical boiler loco “Chaloner” built in 1877

Baguley 0-4-0 loco “Rishra” built in 1921

O&K 0-4-0 loco “P C Allen” of 1913

O&K 0-6-0 loco “Elf” of 1936

O&K 0-6-0 loco “Pedemoura” of 1924

Baldwin 4-6-0T WDLR No. 778 of 1917

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 “Doll” of 1919 

 

Also visiting from the Froissy-Dompierre Railway in France was the US Army Great War ‘Speeder’

In the evening of October 28th ‘Steam Glow’ saw the railway’s smaller engines take centre stage for the first of two events. Joined by gala visitors ‘Diana’ and ‘Jennie’, LBR residents ‘Chaloner’, ‘Rishra’ and ‘PC Allen’ were presented at Stonehenge for a night-time photo shoot alongside equipment from the sand industry. Visitors and photographers joined a special train hauled by recently restored Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T ‘Doll’. The following morning the small engines were all in action again, double heading services on ‘Small Engines Day’.

Good loadings have been reported for all events, rounding off a successful summer season for the Railway.  

Small Engines Day  29 Oct PC Allen and Jennie, Photo credit and copyright Barry Nixon
Small Engines Day 29 Oct 'PC Allen and Jennie'. Photo credit and copyright Barry Nixon
Small Engines Day 29 Oct Rishra Photo credit and copyright Barry Nixon
Small Engines Day 29 Oct 'Rishra'. Photo credit and copyright Barry Nixon
Steam Glow 28 Oct Rishra Photo credit and copyright Rick Wilson
Steam Glow 28 Oct 'Rishra'. Photo credit and copyright Rick Wilson
Steam Glow 28 October PC Allen, Photo credit and copyright Joey Evans
Steam Glow 28 October 'PC Allen'. Photo credit and copyright Joey Evans
'Doll' Photo credit and copyright Jon Hopper
'Doll' Photo credit and copyright Jon Hopper
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