26th August 2010
Blog followers may have spotted that several of this months railway magazines were reporting that the forthcoming Great North Steam Fair would feature the NER designed (LNER built) Y7 0-4-0T from the North Norfolk Railway. The engine is reaching the end of a lengthy overhaul and unfortunately, whilst it had been the hope for it to appear at the GNSF, it will not be ready in time.
However, I am pleased to announce that we have signed a three year deal (potentially renewable thereafter) with the NNR to base the Y7 at Beamish. It is also intended that it wear its LNER livery with NE on the tanksides and number 8088. It will be our regular station engine for this period, and will work with the Beamish NER brake end coach No.3071 (currently at Tanfield) as soon as is practicable next season. This will settle the situation down which lately has seen a high turnover of visiting locomotives – so far this season we have run Hudswell Clarke No.6, Furness Railway No.2o, RSH ‘Sir Cecil Cochrane’ and are expecting one further guest engine followed by a return by Barclay ‘WST’ from the Bowes Railway. This is interesting but is also very expensive in terms of haulage!
I will be aiming to bring in visiting engines to both the railway and colliery lines for events etc. in the future, and already for 2011 we have some exciting visitors requested for both areas. We also hope to bring in further visiting tramcars and narrow gauge locomotives in 2011 as part of the developing events (Pftp and GNSF) as well as regular steaming throughout the year, with other weekends nominated for particularly intensive steam operations on both road and rail.
There is much work in hand (Ruston Portable, Lewin, extension of fairground, further railway developments in the form of sheds and a steam contractors yard, improvements to the colliery railway and extension of the lines available for use there and some short and long term visitors to the museum) so I hope that these will more than make amends for the non-appearance of the Y7 this September. It is entirely possible that it will be here in October, maybe featuring in some mooted half-term steaming at Rowley, or even Halloween…!!!
Below: A Y7!!! LNER No.986 – one of the later batch built with dropped buffers fitted as standard. Photograph copyright of Photomatic.
Below: WST during its first visit to Beamish in 2006.