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.
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”.
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.
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.
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