Locomotive drafted on to North Yorkshire Moors Railway as late replacement for Union of South Africa

MYR3BG City of Wells steam locomotive
MYR3BG City of Wells steam locomotive

A West Country locomotive, built in 1949 and withdrawn from main line service in 1964, will steam through the North York Moors this summer.

The 34092 City of Wells, currently owned by the East Lancashire Railway, has been drafted on to the 18-mile heritage line between Pickering and Whitby as a last-minute replacement for another loco, the 60009 Union of South Africa.

The City of Wells, a Battle of Britain class loco, had been sent for scrap at the end of the steam era but was rescued in 1971 by the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

It was due to run during the season’s opening event on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, but it needs new piston and valve rings which cannot be sourced in time.

Chris Price, the railway’s general manager, said the repair brought home the fragility of the old locomotives and the challenges in maintaining them.

“Of course we are disappointed by this but we are also confident that having 34092 City of Wells, travelling across the moors will be a fantastic sight,” he said.

Bookings which were made on the Union of South Africa will be honoured on its replacement, with passengers also receiving free drinks on board.