Tonight we are looking at some of my better photos from this years Watercress Line Autumn Steam gala. With Dave working on the Canadian Pacific stand I was left to my own devices in my hunt for some good photos. In the morning we also had the pleasure of meeting Stephen of Cornish Inc who was doing a quick painting of Bulleid West Country class 34105 Swanage, that is under overhaul.
In terms of comparing this gala to previous galas I felt the railway did very well, although the guests locos in the form of the Crab and the Ivatt weren’t quite as exciting compared to last years Castle and 42xx. I felt the railway was far more clever with its timetable this time around. I have always said the railway has one of the best wagon groups around and its not used as much as it could be – this time around the railway changed that. The timetable was broken up with several interesting trains such as the local service (A passenger Service formed of 3 Carriages and a Parcels/Miscellaneous Van), a Van only freight train, a mixed freight service and in the afternoon the A4 hauled the Ransome and Rapier 45 Ton Steam Crane DS158, although some visitors were hoping the Ivatt would haul the crane for a bit of irony. The gala was a huge success from my point of view as all the trains I travelled on were packed and standing room only, I even got talked into joining the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society who are overhauling Urie S15 828 at Ropley.
Here’s looking forward to the Spring Gala 2016! Thanks for reading.