With snow still on the ground, the 2018 season at the Leighton Buzzard Railway kicked off on Sunday 4th March in traditional fashion.
The Mayor of Leighton-Linslade, Cllr Syed Rahman was invited by Chairman Terry Bendall to flag off the first train and take a ride to Stonehenge, accompanied by Town Crier Peter Hailes, who announced its departure.
The season started two weeks earlier than usual, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the railway’s first-ever passenger train. On Sunday 3rd March 1968, IHRR No.1 operated a serious of ‘fan-trips’ using open wagons, and this was recreated half a century later. The original locomotive was rebuilt from the original chassis and the remains of the four Simplexes that were obtained from the St Albans Sand and Gravel quarry. Hauling its first passenger service for more than four decades, it offered a parallel departure alongside the first train of the season, which was hauled by Doll, a steam locomotive who will celebrate her 50th birthday in Leighton Buzzard next year.
The 2018 season sees a ‘clock-face’ timetable introduced for the first time, allowing more time to enjoy the visitor trail and craft shop at Stonehenge Works. Following on from 2017’s bumper number of events, 2018 sees the visit of Paw Patrol’s Chase, a Father’s Day Whisky Festival and a Model Railway Show added to popular staples including the Vintage Vehicles Rally, Ale Trail and Easter Egg Hunt. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and full details, including online ticket booking, can be found at www.buzzrail.com.
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