Heritage Railway


IT HAD been some years since I had a run on the main line behind Ian Riley’s ‘Black Five’ No. 44871, so I decided to join the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Sherborne Christmas Carol’charter for a short spin from Basingstoke to Salisbury on Tuesday, December 11.

Once again, South West Railway was in meltdown – this time due to signaling problems at Woking – so I wasn’t very hopeful that the steam charter would be able to keep its non-stop 43 minute path for the 35.79 miles from Basingstoke to Salisbury, which would be a tough proposition anyway with a 60mph limited loco.

No. 44871 was built in 1945 and started its BR career at Longsight and ended it at Carnforth. It was purchased directly from British Railways service for preservation, so never had to be restored from scrapyard condition. It was one of the locomotives which took part in the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’on Sunday, August 11, 1968. I managed a run behind No. 44871 as early in

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