Green Arrow and Evening Star are back at the National Railway Museum, while North British Railway “Maude” is on a three-year holiday from the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. In a reciprocal move, the Duke of Sutherland’s saloon has made the journey north to Bo’ness – and will be joined by the Midland Compound in the Spring, with Cornwall then moving to the Severn Valley Railway’s Engine House museum from Shildon. Musical locomotives indeed! There are more moves in the pipeline – news of them when they happen.
In addition, Richard Pearson brought back the replicas of Sans Pareil and the sectioned Rocket from Nuremberg, where they were celebrating 175 years of German Railways. It’s a return home for the replica of Hackworth’s machine, but a first visit to Shildon for the 1934 built Stephenson replica.
During October, Shildon was joined by “Juno”, a wonderfully original Hunslet Austerity loco on loan from the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Built in 1958, it only worked commercially until 1969 when preserved, then ran into the early 1970s before spending most of the next four decades stored undercover. As an “as withdrawn” machine, it will be placed in NRM+ instead of our own Austerity, which would have taken too long to restore in house. The latter is now under assessment for overhaul at the Flour Mill in the Forest of Dean.
Finally, the North East has been particularly hit by the snow and ice, resulting in a couple of days’ closure at Shildon and a few difficult days at York. My pictures show a little relief in amongst the struggles, along with the return of a large part of a certain iconic member of the collection.