Rather remarkably, somehow I managed to skip this this beautiful locomotive when reporting about my visit to the Bluebell Line (click here to read more.) This was probably because I only saw it briefly as it pulled away with the line’s Wealden Rambler. It had been many years since I had seen this locomotive in action before, so I was pleased to see it, even if only for a few short minutes
This locomotive was one of three locomotives in steam during the day, one being ex-GWR 56xx 5643 and the other being another product of Harry Wainwright, SECR C Class 592. As with the C class, 263 is painted beautifully in the colours of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, a livery it shares with the National Railway Museum’s D class (click here for more.)
The Wealden Rambler is a special service operated by the railway, serving a traditional Afternoon Tea, so the passengers were about to have procession of sandwiches, cakes, scones and of course many cups of tea, all of which I am sure would be very tasty! This is one of a variety of specials that railway runs throughout the year.
I hope to get more pictures of the locomotive in action in the future, however if you can’t wait until then, check out the locoyard photo gallery, which contains pictures taken of 263 in the 1990’s. Click here to be taken to the southern railways/region section of the gallery.