Steam locomotive 60009 Union of South Africa joins 61306 Mayflower for Bluebell Railway Steam Gala

60009 union of south africa at Townsend Fold on the east lancashire railway
60009 at Townsend Fold // Credit: RailAdvent

The Bluebell Railway has announced that steam locomotive 60009 Union of South Africa will be visiting the line alongside 61306 Mayflower for their Autumn Steam Gala.

A special timetable will be in operation throughout the weekend, with a variety of locomotives in action.

60009 Union of South Africa visits the line courtesy of John Cameron, and 61306 Mayflower is appearing thanks to David Buck.

These giants of steam will be operating the whole weekend. The event is shaping up to be a brilliant weekend indeed!

The Autumn Steam Gala is being held from the 12-14th October 2018.

About 60009 Union of South Africa

60009 Union of South Africa is an LNER Class A4 steam locomotive. It was built in 1937 at Doncaster Works. The ‘A4’ was a common sight on the East Coast Mainline between London and Scotland. 60009 is one of six surviving A4s. This will be the last time the locomotive visits the Bluebell Railway before she retires from service in 2019 and is placed in a museum alongside 61994 ‘The Great Marquess’ in Fife, Scotland.

About 61306 Mayflower
61306 "Mayflower" // Credit Alan Wilson
61306 “Mayflower” // Credit Alan Wilson

61306 Mayflower was built in 1948 by the North British Locomotive Company. Although built to LNER designs, it was delivered after BR nationalised the railways. Originally allocated to Hull Botanic Gardens Depot, it was transferred in June 1969 to Hull Dairycoates Depot before a final allocation to Bradford Low Moor Deport in June 1967. 61306 was withdrawn from service in September 1967.

In preservation, Mayflower has had many homes, such as Carnforth Steamtown and the Great Central Railway. It is also Mainline Certified for hauling steam railtours. Currently undergoing maintenance.

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