Saddletank 752 visit to Didcot Railway Centre in May 2024

Saddletank 752 visit to Didcot Railway Centre in May 2024

Agreement was reached for Saddletank 752 to visit the Didcot Railway Centre for their ‘Steam into the 40s’ event during the early May Bank Holiday on May 4th, 5th and 6th 2024.

752 stayed at Didcot to operate there on the weekend of 11th and 12th May to feature in a ‘Mini May Gala’ .

This was subject to 752 passing some additional testing. This arises because road access to the Didcot site is on the opposite side of the main National Rail network line to Oxford so 752 will briefly have to negotiate the main line, albeit not as extensive as its travels in 1980.  
752 passed the testing and arrived at Didcot by road on Saturday 27th April.
Upon arrival by road and return on 13th May 752 was escorted across the Network Rail main line ‘under the wires’ (another first for 752) into the Didcot Railway Centre sandwiched between two Class 66 locos which can be seen on our photos stock in use page (link below).

Images of 752 with the Class 66 locos and in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

Expected use of our stock on Worth Valley in 2024 – updated April 2024

Expected use of our stock on Worth Valley in 2024

NOTE – the Worth Valley are carrying out a major engineering project in 2024 to replace bridge 27 over the river south of Haworth. This will mainly affect car parking at Haworth in May, late August and September. The railway website has a page giving more details – click here


VINTAGE TRAINS – there is now a dedicated web page on the Worth Valley website which can be found via this link (opens in new window)

The trains will run for full weekends in July and August 2024 –
20th & 21st July, 27th & 28th July, 3rd & 4th August, 10th & 11th August, 17th & 18th August

Our Third Class 6-wheeler 1507 is currently undergoing repairs to some of the doors but we hope that these will be complete before July.


THE STEAM GALA – Thursday March 21st to Sunday March 24th 2024, 2 of our carriages, Club Carriage 47 and Bogie Brake Third 1507 were in service train use for the 4 days on one of the main carriage sets.

Images of our carriages in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online


Expected use of our locos at the East Lancashire Railway in 2024 – updated March 2024

Expected use of our locos at the East Lancashire Railway in 2024

At the first time of first writing in November 2023 it was expected there would be two major steam events in 2024 during which our two operational locos were expected to be in use on the East Lancashire Railway.

Legends of Steam – Friday March 15th to Sunday 17th March, our Saddletanf 752 featured in all 3 days liveried as Horwich Works service loco 11305 as we have reported elsewhere on this website, running shuttle services each day.

Images of 752 in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online


Autumn Steam Gala – Friday 11th to Sunday 13th October, our locos will be in use, see details on ELR website click here (opens in new window)

There may be other public events during 2024 featuring our locos of which details will be published on this web page.

Saddletank 752 becomes 11305 – update March 2024

Saddletank 752 becomes 11305

(By the end of March 2024 752 had reverted to it’s fictitious British Railways 51456)

In early March 2024 We were advised at short notice that 752 as 11305 would feature in all 3 days of the East Lancashire Railway ‘Legends of Steam’ event March 15th, 16th and 17th 2024. It operated shuttle services, mostly between Bury and Ramsbottom, but between Bury and Heywood on a morning trip each day.

Images of 752 in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

As we have previously made most people aware, there has been a plan to operate Saddletank 752 as the last survivor in BR service, loco 11305 as a service loco at Horwich Works.

This was to be in conjunction with long-time supporter Harvey Scowcroft, who was in possession of the front numberplate from 11305, but he died suddenly in December 2023.
Harvey was very active with a group who arranged photo charters at the East Lancashire Railway so an event was organised for early March 2024 by this 3P20 Group, taking place in Buckley Wells Yard of the East Lancashire Railway at Bury.
A video of the charter can be seen on Youtube, loaded there by ‘Preserved Railway’ and can be found here (opens in new window)

Latest ON TRUST issued

Latest ON TRUST issued

Issue number 41 for Autumn 2023 has now been posted to members and supporters, with the usual mix of news and articles. Also included are reminders for membership subscriptions and some late news.

We are sorry that this is later than our normal schedule due to some issues with printing.

Fundraising appeal 2023-2024

Fundraising appeal 2023-2024

The year 2023 has been one of consolidation for the Trust, with our two operational steam locomotives in use at the East Lancashire Railway and our carriages in use at the Worth Valley Railway – that is with the exception of six-wheel Third 1507, on which three of the ten doors were found to be in need of major repairs and one needing some repair for safe operation.

After extensive research into the options available we were able to secure the services of the joiner who had made new doors for six-wheel First 279 and Club Carriage 47 some years ago.  The image below (supplied by Dan Winters) shows delivery of the first replacement door in December 2023 and the other two requiring replacement ready to be taken away.

The cost of this work will be nearly £10,000 including repainting and can be met from the Trust reserves but we would appreciate donations towards the cost, hopefully 1507 will return to service in 2024 Vintage Trains services.

Full details of how to help with this work and our other activities can be found here (opens in new window)

Our locos in use at East Lancashire Railway during 2023

Known use of our locos in use at East Lancashire Railway (ELR) during 2023

Autumn Steam Gala – October 13th 14th 15th
Our locos 19 as 11243 and 752 as 51456 featured with other ‘home fleet’ locos and some visitors – West Country 34072 from the Spa Valley Railway, 48305 from the Great Central Railway and Jubilee 45690 based at Carnforth.
752/51456 was in use throughout the Gala and 19/11243 carried out public shunting demonstrations as well as a passenger shuttle once each day and a short freight except on Sunday.

Pug 19 as 11243 was used for a wedding train special on 20th September,  the Pug ran from Bury to Ramsbottom to pick up the wedding, then Ramsbottom to Heywood, Heywood to Rawtenstall (stopping at Bury and Ramsbottom as booked), and then Rawtenstall to Bury dropping the wedding off at Ramsbottom.  Photos have been supplied by Liam Barnes of the ELR.

Images of our locos in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

Apart from special events, Saddletank 752 as 51456 is a regular performer on the Diner Trains (which require advanced booking) operated by the East Lancashire Railway.

Small Engines Gala – June 10th 11th
A new event for 2023, it featured 6 steam locos and 6 diesel locos, our 752 and 19 both featuring, with 752 being one of the largest.

Images of our locos in use in the Gala can be found on our page Photos – stock in use and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

1940s Weekend – May 27th 28th 29th
752 as 51456 operated passenger shuttles between Bury Bolton Street and Ramsbottom. 19 as 11243 spent most of the weekend shunting military wagons around Bury Bolton Street

Images of our locos in use in the Gala can be found on our page Photos – stock in use and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

Our carriages in use for Worth Valley Vintage Trains July and August 2023

Our carriages in use for Worth Valley Vintage Trains July and August 2023

Updated 29th September 2023

The Vintage Trains services for 2023 started on 22nd July with 3 of our carriages in use as in the above photo, which is copyright Tom Marshall. Previously it had been believed that both of our 6-wheelers would have to be left out with a Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT) carriage replacing our 6-wheeler Third 1507 but a further review has found that it has been possible to include First 6-wheeler 279.

Images of our carriages in use can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

Our 6-wheeler Third 1507 will now not be is use, and for various operational reasons it will be actually be on display in the VCT museum at Ingrow whilst the Vintage Trains are operating.

There is a major change for 2023 as the trains will operate on both Saturdays and Sundays for all 5 weekends.
The dates are 22nd & 23rd July, 29th & 30th July, 5th & 6th August, 12th & 13th August, 19th & 20th August.

It is expected that the Worth Valley will operate Vintage Trains services in future years, and one or more of our carriages may be used in the Steam Gala to take place between 21st and 24th March 2024, current information can be seen on their website here (opens in new window).

Pug 19 as 11243 at Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway May 2023

Pug 19 as 11243 at Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway May 2023

After Pug 19 as 11243 has attended the Gala Weekend at the Bluebell in April it was taken by road to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) to feature in their Cotswold Festival of Steam on 12th to 14th May.
The main work of 19/11243 was to take charge of shunting goods wagons at Winchcombe and operate brake van trips, a task it was designed to do, during the event which is a highlight of the railway’s calendar.
Update 22nd April – initially we understood that the engine would work a passenger train each day from Toddington to Winchcombe and back again later on in the day but the published timetable showed an irregular pattern between the three days. There was a full freight round trip between the two stations each day, but only one way passenger journeys on Friday and Sunday with Saturday featuring a passenger journey out in the morning and return in late afternoon.

Images of 11243 in use in the Gala can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

Full details of the event can be found on the GWSR website, including details of the other four visiting locomotives, click here to view details of the event, on 22nd April this page now includes a link to the published Gala Timetable (opens in new window)



Pug 19 as 11243 at Bluebell Railway April 2023

Pug 19 as 11243 at Bluebell Railway April 2023

Pug 19 travelled by road from Bury to the Bluebell Railway on 11th April, arriving safely at their Sheffield Park depot.
In LMS livery as 11243 it featured in their Branch Line Gala Weekend from 21st to 23rd April, running extensively thoughout the 3 days, but always working with another locomotive from their home fleet or the two other visitors including Andy Booth’s ‘A’ class 52322.

Full details of the event can be found on the Bluebell website, which also includes a link to the timetables, click here (opens in new window)

Images of 11243 in us in the Gala can be found on our page Photos – stock in use
and videos from Youtube on our page Video Online

19/11243 stayed at the Bluebell after the weekend before making another road journey to the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway to take part in their Cotswold Festival of Steam event on 12th to 14th May, details in our separate article.