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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Jubilee joy for the SVR’s Autumn Steam Gala

The Severn Valley Railway has made a further announcement about the guest locomotives for its Autumn Steam Gala.

LMS Jubilee No 45596 ‘Bahamas’ will be joining the line-up. Photo: Kenny Felstead.
LMS Jubilee No 45596 ‘Bahamas’ will be joining the line-up. Photo: Kenny Felstead.

The heritage railway has confirmed that LMS Jubilee No 45596 ‘Bahamas’ will be joining the line-up. The four-day event takes place between 19 and 22 September.

“This locomotive is set to be a big attraction at our event,” said SVR managing director Jonathan “Gus’ Dunster, “and we’re very excited that it’s coming. ‘Bahamas’ hasn’t been to the SVR since our Spring Steam Gala in 1994, so we reckon we’re definitely due a return visit! We’re extremely grateful to the Bahamas Locomotive Society for agreeing to the visit. 

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“And, let’s not forget that another Jubilee class locomotive played a very important role at the SVR 40 years ago – it was LMS 5690 ‘Leander’ that hauled the very first passenger service from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster on 30 July 1984, when we opened Kidderminster Town station to the public. We’re celebrating the anniversary of that momentous day next month, across the weekend of 27 and 28 July.”

Built in 1934 in Glasgow, the engine, originally numbered as 5596, was one of the Jubilee class which eventually totalled 191. Very few survive and ‘Bahamas’ is unique amongst these as it’s the only one to have a double chimney.

This feature was intended to improve overall performance, largely caused by the poor quality of post-war coal. The concept was developed in the mid-1940s but it wasn’t until 1961 that ‘Bahamas’ became the only one of its class to receive the modification.

The Jubilee joins fellow guest 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’, also confirmed recently, and further guest announcements are expected in due course. Amongst the SVR’s home fleet expected to take part in the event are LMS Mogul 13268, GWR 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’, GWR Pannier Tank 7714 and BR Standard 75069.

The event will feature early morning and late evening services, with non-stop expresses, goods trains and double-headers.

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