'Lady of Legend': Severn Valley Railway lines up special guest train
A special guest has been lined up for the Severn Valley Railway's Spring Steam Gala – the newly built Lady of Legend steam train.
It will be the debut appearance of GWR Class No. 2999 Lady of Legend at the four-day gala, which takes place from April 16-19.
The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) will be the first heritage railway to welcome the much-anticipated ‘new re-build’ locomotive following its completion last year at Didcot Railway Centre.
Dubbed the ‘78th Saint’, Lady of Legend is the first new example of George Jackson Churchward’s Edwardian Saint class 4-6-0 locomotives to be built since 1913.
Churchward’s iconic design included many revolutionary advances which influenced almost all subsequent British steam locomotive development, yet the class became extinct following the scrapping of Saint David in 1953.
Seventeen years on, a project was launched by the Great Western Society to re-create a ‘Saint’.
As none were saved for preservation, No. 4942 Maindy Hall was purchased to be used as a base for one. Last year, No. 2999 Lady of Legend was completed.
SVR Gala Chairman Brian Malyon, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing Lady of Legend to the SVR and are sure that it will really draw the crowds, just as ‘new’ locomotive Tornado has done during its very popular visits to the railway.
“It is a very fitting gala visitor during the SVR’s 50th year in preservation, reflecting a celebration of our past heritage as well as the skills, dedication and technologies of today which are helping us to look firmly to the future.”
The SVR’s Spring Steam Gala will feature up to four visiting locomotives in action alongside its home fleet. An intensive timetable including goods trains and local services will be in operation, with services running into the evenings on the Friday and Saturday. Some more surprises are planned, to be announced shortly.
The railway is currently preparing to reopen for 2020 this February half-term, with steam trains running between Bridgnorth and Bewdley, although there are no trains from Kidderminster due to work on Falling Sands Viaduct.
Kidderminster Station will be hosting children’s Make Me a Train Driver workshops daily during the holiday.
To find out more, see the special events page on svr.co.uk call 01562 757900 or visit the Severn Valley Railway Official Site or Families pages on Facebook.