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‘King’, ‘A4’ and debutant ‘9F’ steal show at Moors line gala spectacular

THE North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) pulled off what might be regarded as one of the biggest steam galas of the 2000s on September 27-29, which not only featured a hugely impressive locomotive line-up, but also illustrated how far the line’s motive power department has come in a relatively short timeframe.

Single-chimney ‘9F’ No. 92134 departs Goathland with the 10.27 Grosmont to Pickering – its first solo passenger working in preservation – on a very wet September 29. GEOFF GRIFFITHS

It was only in June 2016 that the NYMR’s general manager Chris Price said in an exclusive RM interview that his priority was “sorting out the motive power situation and making sure that we have enough steam locos available” and to “improve the reliability of the service and make sure that there’s a steam engine on the front of the train when it says there will be”. 

Nos. 6990 Witherslack Hall and 6023 King Edward II power past Darnholm in gloomy conditions on September 27. KENNY FELSTEAD

At that time the line had just three locomotives available for Whitby services – BR ‘4MT’ 2-6-0 No. 76079, Stanier ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 45428 Eric Treacy and the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s (NELPG) Peppercorn ‘K1’ 2-6-0 No. 62005. 

However, if you were among the hundreds who jostled along the crowded platforms and queued to enter stations during the September gala, you would have found that fact hard to believe.

Owner John Cameron leans from the cab of Union of South Africa as it rounds the curve at Esk Valley Viaduct with the 15.56 Grosmont-Pickering service on September 27. The ‘A4’ later slipped to a halt on the climb towards Green End, but the crew skilfully restarted the train on the 1-in-49 gradient. GRAHAM NUTTALL

No fewer than 11 ‘home fleet’ locomotives were in action during the three-day event, including the trio mentioned above plus the newly overhauled single-chimney BR ‘9F’ 2-10-0 No. 92134, which had not hauled trains in anger since 1966. 

They were joined by LNER ‘B1’ 4-6-0 No. 1264, NELPG’s duo of ‘J27’ 0-6-0 No. 65894 and ‘T2’ (‘Q6’) 0-8-0 No. 2238, Southern ‘S15’ 4-6-0 No. 825 and ‘Schools’ 4-4-0 No. 926 Repton, BR ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80136, and the ex-Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Collieries 0-6-2T No. 29.   

Visitors squeeze into every available space at Grosmont on September 29 as ‘K1’ No. 62005 and ‘4MT’ No. 76079 await their next departures. DECLAN HARGREAVES

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