BR's 'last steam engine' is surprise visitor to the SVR

13th December 2012

BR's 'last steam engine' is surprise visitor to the SVR THE STEAM locomotive which worked British Rail’s very last main line steam train almost 45 years ago in 1968, is a surprise Christmas visitor to the Severn Valley Railway.

Former London, Midland & Scottish Railway ‘Black 5’ No.44871, normally based at the East Lancashire Railway, Bury, is due to arrive at Kidderminster tomorrow afternoon (Thursday December 13th 2012), and will play its part as one of five steam locomotives working the sell-out ‘Santa’ trains being run by the SVR over the next two weekends, December 15/16 and December 22/23rd.

It has been an extraordinarily good December for the Kidderminster - Bridgnorth steam heritage line, which sold out all 35,000 seats on its ‘Santa Steam Specials’ earlier in the month.

The celebrity ‘Black 5’ comes to the railway as a short term stand-in for SVR resident locomotive, GWR ‘2800’ 2-8-0 No. 2857, which suffered a defective main steam pipe while running earlier ‘Santa’ trains.

After the ‘Santa’ trains, the ‘Black 5’ will also be available for the 12 days of
Post-Christmas ‘Festive Season’ trains which the SVR will run from Boxing Day December 26 until Sunday January 6th – traditionally the trains which allow families to ‘blow away the cobwebs’ after Christmas,  often combining their ride on the railway with a walk in the country.

There’s a busy timetable of six trains each way on each of the SVR’s ‘twelve days of Christmas’, the first starting from Kidderminster at 10.20, and from Bridgnorth at 10.50.

Unlike the ‘Santa’ trains, pre-booking of seats is not essential – but there are fare discounts for passengers who do so before Wednesday December 19th, with, typically, a £1 saving to be made on most fares, or £2 on the family ticket (two adults and up to four children).