Steam buffs’ double treat
5:30am Thursday 10th April 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
Enthusiasts at Swindon and Cricklade Railway are gearing up for a big weekend of steam train activities.
The charity, which runs traditional steam engines along two and a half miles of track near Tadpole Lane, is to hold a steam gala on April 26 and 27 when two steam locomotives will be in action.
There has not been more than one engine on show since 2010, when SCR displayed four different engines as a part of the celebrations of the Great Western Railway’s 175th anniversary.
An SCR spokesman said: “A two-train timetable doesn’t happen often. It really is a mini-steam gala.
“Having two steam locos at the same time hasn’t happened since 2010, when we imported four locos for the GWR 175th anniversary.
“That was even bigger than what’s coming, but this next one will the biggest we’ve had since 2010.”
SCR’s regular steam locomotive, Salmon, was sold by its owner at the end of March and moved on from the railway in North Swindon.
In its absence, the charity has brought in two steam locos across a series of weekends in the next two months.
Metropolitan One, an engine which is part of the National Collection, was built in 1898 and operated on the London Under-ground.
It will be transported to SCR for the public to use between April 18 and 21 and the weekend after.
On April 26 and 27 it will be joined by Collett 0-6-2 Tank 5637, which was built in Swindon in 1925 and spent most of its working life in Wales before being condemned to the scrapyard in 1964. It was restored in 1998.
The 5637 will also be in action at the railway on May 4, 5, 10 and 11 During the Easter weekend Met One will be pulling the Easter Egg-Spress, with the Easter Bunny on-board to meet families and give out chocolate eggs.
“It will be nice for passengers to have the choice of two engines,” said the spokesman.
For information, call 01793 771615 or visit www.swindon-cricklade-railway.org.