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Look Back at Nene Valley Railway Bulleid 50 Steam Gala

Bulleid Pacifics 34081 and 34053 at Wansford railway station on the Nene Valley Railway

Look Back at Nene Valley Railway Bulleid 50 Steam Gala

Heres a quick look back at the Nene Valley Railway Bulleid 50 Steam Gala that ran a couple of weeks ago over the weekend of 25th and 26th February 2017.

 Bulleid 50 Steam Gala Background

The Bulleid 50 steam gala was an event run by the Nene Valley Railway to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of steam running on the Southern Region of British Railways. Two of Bulleids iconic designs featured in this steam gala –

  • 34081 ’92 Squadron’ (running without nameplates)
  • 34053 Sir Keith Park

34081 92 Squadron

The Bulleid 50 steam gala saw the long anticipated return to service of 34081 92 Squadron following its near 7 year restoration. The skill, dedication and sheer hard work of the Battle of Britain Locomotive society has to be applauded for turning out such a stunning looking machine. 34081 ran without nameplates during the gala reflecting the period after delivery from new when many of the class had yet to be named. 34081 will have the 92 Squadron nameplates refitted during a re-dedication service on 6th May.

34053 Sir Keith Park

34053 Sir Keith Park visited the Gala from the Severn Valley Railway where it resides and is owned and maintained by Southern Locomotives Limited. 34053 Sir Keith Park is always popular and had a long and drawn out restoration following being dumped at the famous Barry Scrapyard. 34053 entered the famous Woodhams scrapyard in 1966 where it resided for 13 years. In 1979 a remarkable journey began that saw the hulk of the loco visit Hull, Crewe, Chippenham, the West Somerset Railway, Portland, and finally the Severn Valley Railway! 34053 Sir Keith Park finally returned to service in 2012 after 47 years and in excess of £770,000 being spent! Never say never when you are talking about railway preservation!

Train Workings at the Bulleid 50 Steam Gala

Both engines were in use throughout the weekend on trains operating the full length of the Nene Valley Railway. Each loco took turns to haul service trains whilst the other operated brake van rides up to Yarwell and back. The final train of each day was planned to be double headed by both locos but unfortunately on the Saturday 34081 was low on water and did not work the last train.

Other Sights To Be Seen During the Bulleid 50 Steam Gala

BR Standard Class 5 73050

BR Standard Class 5 loco 73050 City of Peterborough was on display on the turntable at Wansford. 73050 has previously been restored to working order and was taken out of service in 2014 for a thorough overhaul.

Working Steam Crane

Many heritage railways have steam cranes lying around their workshop sites. With so much heavy lifting to be done, a capable crane with a heavy lifting capability is a real asset to railways. Whats not seen so often is the crane in actual use. During the Bulleid 50 steam gala, the steam crane at Wansford was in regular use lifting bogies, a saddle tank and other assorted items. The use of steam cranes is a highly technical and precise activity so dont expect to see much fast paced action, fortunately I have remedied that with the time lapse video below!

GDMK Images Art Stall at the Bulleid 50 Steam Gala

Our art stall was very well received at the gala. It was great to meet so many people and customers old and new at the Nene Valley which is becoming a favourite railway of ours!

I released several new Bulleid pictures that were warmly received and sold well, both as wall art and as phone cases – thanks one and all!

I also snagged a couple of new pictures that will make their way into the catalogue in time for the Strictly Bulleid Gala we will be attending at the Swanage Railway at the end of March.

These new pictures have been seen by my subscribers at discounted prices but now they are formally launched below for purchase by everybody via the links below.

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Thanks for reading, please leave your comments below and if you enjoyed the look back to the Bulleid 50 Steam Gala then why not share it with your freinds via the buttons below?

All the best for now

Gary

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