The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust has announced that 7F No. 53808 will soon move from the West Somerset Railway to the Mid Hants Railway.
Recently the S&DRT and WSR PLC have discussed the hire agreement of 53808 to the West Somerset Railway.
The outcomes of the discussion are listed below:
- Suspending current hire agreement between the WSR PLC and S&DRT
- WSR PLC to help in completing winter maintenance work on 53808 which was postponed following COVID-19 lockdown
- On completion of winter maintenance, 53808 will be moved by road to the MHR
- 53808 will be on hire to the MHR for the rest of its current boiler ticket, due to expire in Autumn 2022
With the WSR not running full passenger services for the foreseeable future, this new agreement with the MHR will see 53808 in revenue earning services, with the hire fees being vital in funding 53808’s overhaul in 2022.
General Manager for the Mid Hants Railway Simon Baggott said: “We are delighted that the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust has chosen the Watercress Line as a base for their locomotive. The 7F is such an iconic design and its hill-climbing capabilities will be of great use. The Watercress Line and the Somerset and Dorset not only shared steep gradients, but both were railways operated by the LSWR, and both were single-track mainline railways. We hope to use the 7F to help tell the story of these rare, but important lines. Our gala planned for the 16th 17th and 18th of October will naturally now have an S&D theme.”
RailAdvent has contacted the West Somerset Railway for a comment on this news.
For more information or to support the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust Ltd, please click here.
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