Pure speed came to the region’s heritage railway last weekend as the fastest steam engine in preservation made a rare appearance.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway welcomed the Class A4 Pacific ‘Bittern’ to its Spring Steam Gala, and the train will appear this weekend.
The Bittern was the first UK steam engine to reach 90mph in three high speed record runs on the East Coast main line over the winter.
Philip Benham, NYMR general manager, said “We are delighted to welcome ‘Bittern’ back to the railway two years after its last visit. The engine is a firm favourite on ‘The Moors’.”
The seven day Spring Steam Gala included Roger Hibbert’s LMS Class 3F ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0 tank engine No. 47406 on loan from the Great Central Railway – a first visit for this class of locomotive to NYMR. Also making a re-appearance will be Ian Riley’s LMS Class 5 4-6-0 Black 5 44871 and No 45407 ‘Lancashire Fusilier’ and North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s K1 No 62005 during the first weekend.
As well as the larger engines the NYMR Spring Steam Gala will celebrate ‘Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Colliery’ 0-6-2T tank engine No. 29 110th birthday, the locomotive was built in 1904 for use on the Lambton Railway by Leeds based locomotive manufactures Kitson and Company. Philip said: “To mark this special occasion, 29 has been restored to the engine’s authentic lined green colour scheme.”
The event also sees the first gala appearance for the NYMR’s newest edition to its home fleet LMS Class 5MT Locomotive 44806. No 44806 was recently purchased through the generous support of a longstanding benefactor to the NYMR and while currently it will only work between Pickering and Grosmont, in due course it will be equipped for operational working services to and from Whitby on Network Rail.
NYMR’s remaining home based fleet complete the cast with the Thompson B1 Locomotive Trust’s No 61264, Standard Class 4 4-6-0 ‘Green Knight’ No. 75029, and LMS Class 5MT No 45428 ‘Eric Treacy’.