On the weekend before the funeral obsequies for the Late Queen Elizabeth II, Leighton Buzzard Railway celebrated Heritage Open Day in the United Kingdom with an extraordinary gathering of its locomotive fleet – both steam and internal combustion.
Of the steam fleet on display were Avonside 1738/1916 ‘Sezela’; O&K 10808/1924 ‘Pedemoura’; Baldwin 44656/1917 No ‘778’; and the peripatetic Kerr Stuart4256/1922 ‘Peter Pan’- this latter loco is probably the world’s most travelled locomotive – seen annually in Belgium at Maldegem. From the extensive fleet of 22 Motor Rail Simplex locos, in action were No 43 – having spent its whole working life on the LBR, and numbers 17, 30, 44, and 2182.
Of especial interest was the sight of Baldwin 778 seen together with Motor Rail ‘Armoured’Simplex 2182. Both of these two WW1 locomotives – in their original condition – were seen for the first time working together on the twin line portion of the recently opened extension to the railway. After 105 years it was a delight for the passengers, and of considerable satisfaction to our engineering teams who have kept them in such good order.
It was very much an international meeting – the locos having been built in or spent their working lives in, America, France, Germany, India, Portugal, South Africa as well as the United Kingdom.
Tony Tomkins – Vice President LBNGRS/LBRM