AN OLD friend returned to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway this week.

At 7pm on Thursday, the Swindon-built Collett 0-6-2 tank 5637 returned, on a low loader, to the railway’s Blunsdon base.

It was back for first time in the 16 years since the locomotive left the railway to be run in, following its complete restoration from scrapyard wreck to original condition.

It was an event many members and volunteers of the railway have been waiting to see.

The locomotive arrived at the railway in time for the forthcoming weekend Steam Gala, which also features 1898-built Metropolitan 1.

It will be the first time since 2010 that two steam locomotives have been used at the same time at the railway.

The locomotive will also be used on the two following weekends.

For more details of the events call 01793 771615, or visit