The Ruislip Lido Railway has announced that for its three-day Steam Gala over the May Day Holiday Saturday, May 4th to Monday, 6th May it will be running a superb steam locomotive named ‘Sherpa on loan from the Fairbourne Railway.
Sherpa is an 0-4-0 saddle tank plus tender based on a class B tank locomotive that used to run on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Originally named France, It was built in 1978 by Milner Engineering in 1978 and ran briefly on the fabled Réseau Guerlédan Railway in Brittany before transferring to the Fairbourne Miniature Railway in 1986.
As well as coming to the Ruislip Lido Railway, Sherpa has visited other lines in the past, including the former Ashorne Hall Railway, which has now closed, and the Littlehampton Miniature Railway in West Sussex.
This will be Sherpa's first visit to the Ruislip Lido Railway and the second by a visiting steam locomotive after Christopher visited from the Littlehampton Miniature Railway for Ruislip's May Gala last year.
It is planned to operate a three-train service each day, starting at 11:00. As well as the train services, the railway's usual other attractions will be open, including displays, information about the railway's history, and the opportunity to have a look around the railway's workshop and yard.
There will also be the chance to take part in ‘driver for a fiver' when visitors can take the controls on locomotives John Rennie and Bayhurst on a 750-metre section of the line.
In return for hosting Sherpa, the railway's Mad Bess will be visiting the Fairbourne Miniature Railway for its annual steam gala during the late May Bank Holiday from Friday, 25th to Monday 27th May.