Spa Valley Railway will be celebrating its anniversary this year, marking twenty years since re-opening.
The three and a half mile line to Groombridge Station was reinstated back in August of 1997.
To kickstart these celebrations the railway will host its annual spring steam gala on April 22nd and 23rd, with industrial steam being the focus of the weekend.
Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns ‘Ugly’ 0-6-0ST No. 62, an industrial loco originally designed to work heavy iron ore trains from the pit to the national network, will be headlining the event. Built in 1950 for Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd in Corby, Northamptonshire ‘Ugly’ was one of nine in its class known as ‘Uglies’ for their short saddle tank and large, raised firebox.
Joining ugly at the line’s ‘Industrial Power’ event, will be Vulcan-built ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 72 alongside Class 10 shunter, No. D3489 ‘Colonel Tomline’.
During the course of the weekend there will be an intense passenger service running between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge. In keeping with the industrial theme there will be a shuttle goods train in operation between Tunbridge Wells West and Groombridge. The railway also hopes to have their Queen Mary brake van in the formation offering brake van rides.
For more information visit www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk.
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