Spa Valley Railway visit for steam locomotive 34053 “Sir Keith Park”

34053 "Sir Keith Park" at Wansford Station // Credit Jamie Duggan

The Spa Valley Railway has announced that Southern Railway Rebuilt Battle of Britain Class No.34053 “Sir Keith Park” will be visiting for an extended period later this year.

Once repairs and steam testing have been completed at Tyseley Locomotive Works later this year, road transport will collect and deliver 34053 to Tunbridge Wells West.

Initially “Sir Keith Park” will be stored undercover at the railway’s London Brighton And South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) Running Shed to protect the engine from the elements during the winter months until March 2021, but following crew training, 34053 maybe steamed up and run in late 2020 or early 2021.

Spa Valley Railway’s Commercial Manager Jonnie Pay said:

“We were thrilled to receive a request from Southern Locomotive Limited to bring ‘Sir Keith Park’ to the Spa Valley Railway, initially for Winter storage but will also see time in active service, it didn’t take us long to make our minds up! I very much look forward to seeing the Bulleid in action, especially on a route that was often frequented by this glamourous machine back in the days of steam. Being able to host a Battle of Britain class locomotive is certainly an achievement and shows our continued dedication to the future of steam at the Spa Valley Railway.”

Spa Valley Railway’s Steam Engineering Assistant Matt Dives said:

“When I was approached by one of our volunteers, who is also a shareholder of Southern Locomotives, about the prospect of bringing a Bulleid Pacific to 75F I immediately contacted the rest of the Management Team. Following on from the visit of BR Standard 4MT 80078 earlier this year, the arrival of ‘Sir Keith Park’ will certainly be a huge motivational boost for the dedicated team of volunteers that work in the shed, after the recent lengthy period of downtime. Everyone is very excited and I hope our visitors will be too!”

For more information or to support the Spa Valley Railway, please visit their website here.

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