SVR loco prepares for its final journey
It has carried the Olympic torch and hosted royalty – but the end of the line is approaching for this historic locomotive.
Severn Valley Railway's No 7812 Erlestoke Manor is being retired after 10 years and 100,000 miles, during which it has hosted Princess Anne as well as transporting the Olympic torch.
The locomotive returned to steam in 2008 to haul the railway's re-opening special following the devastating storms of 2007.
However, New Year's Eve will be Erlestoke Manor's final time on the SVR's tracks. It will be joined in retirement by No 34053 Sir Keith Park which joined the railway's fleet in 2012 following an overhaul.
The locomotive steamed for the first time in preservation on the SVR’s tracks.
'Skip', as it is affectionately known, has seen some memorable moments, including the Steam and Morgan car challenge in October 2012 and the inauguration ceremony of the loco in August 2013, which involved a flypast from a Spitfire and Hurricane at Bridgnorth.
Visitors have been encouraged to attend the locomotives' last journeys – they can see Erlestoke Manor in steam for the final time on December 31, with Sir Keith Park hauling services on January 1 and 2.
Clare Gibbard, the SVR’s marketing and communications manager, said: "This year’s services are special for us, as we will be saying goodbye for now to two very much-loved locomotives, Erlestoke Manor and Sir Keith Park, so we hope to give them a lovely send-off.”
For more information about the SVR and its events, visit svr.co.uk, call 01562 757900 or head to the Severn Valley Railway Official Site or Families pages on Facebook.