This week we drop back just three years to 2017 when in early July the KWVR held its first Little Engine’s Gala which operated over 3 days, 7th – 9th July. This Gala harked back to the early days of the preserved Railway and the KWVR honoured those early pioneers when the smaller locomotives of the fleet will took centre stage to reflect the days before the larger locomotives ruled the roost.
We welcomed two visiting locomotives, both with connections to the Railway but in diverse ways. The first to be announced was ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST 71515 ‘Mech Navvies Ltd’ from the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway a type of engine that featured in the early days of the KWVR with two examples of the class operational during the early years. The second guest locomotive was London & South Western Railway ‘Beattie well tank’ 2-4-0WT 30587 courtesy of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. These well tanks were never seen in the north of England but similar locomotives, designed and owned by the Midland Railway, operated the branch in the very first years that the Railway was open in the nineteenth century.
Although only over two days of our virtual weekend, as well as the two visitors, the home fleet consists of:
Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T No. 85
London & North Western Railway 0-6-2T ‘Coal Tank’ No.1054 (courtesy of the Bahamas locomotive society)
Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T no. 1704 ‘Nunlow’ (courtesy of the Bahamas locomotive society)
… these latter two now withdrawn for overhaul
… plus some rare passenger workings of our smaller diesel fleet.
TVR 0-6-2T no. 85 will have the honours hauling the Wednesday – Friday services between Oxenhope to Keighley after taking part in the Virtual Little Engines Gala.