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Impressive Great Central trio gather at Eastleigh Lakeside

THE Simkins family visited the Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway (ELSR) on August 10-11 with their unique collection of 10¼in-gauge Great Central Railway locos. 

Design and construction started in the early 1990s. The first completed was Andrew Simkins’ award-winning Class 8 (LNER ‘B5’) 4-6-0 ‘Fish’ engine No. 181, in 2002. Father Neil’s Class ‘8K’ (LNER O4) 2-8-0 No. 102 was completed in 2016, and David’s Class ‘11F’ (LNER D11/1)
4-4-0 ‘Large Director’ No. 505 Ypres, in 2017. 

The Simkins family travelled from the Midlands on August 10-11 to see their three Great Central Railway locos in operation at the Eastleigh Lakeside Railway. From left are 4-4-0 No. 505 Ypres, 4-6-0 No. 181 and 2-8-0 No. 102. DAVID SIMKINS

This gathering was the first time all three locos had been seen together. 

A fourth loco – Class ‘9J’ (LNER J11) 0-6-0 ‘Pom-Pom’ – is due for completion within a year or so, when it is hoped a return to the ESLR with all four locos will take place.

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