For the first time since 2019, the covid restrictions have relaxed sufficiently to enable a steam festival to be held once again: at Maldegem (B) 14 km from Bruges on the Belgian –Dutch border on Saturday and Sunday 30th of April and 1st of May, 2022.
Planning is proceeding well. There should be six locos in steam on narrow and standard gauges including, from the UK. Narrow gauge Kerr Stuart 0-4-0st “Peter Pan” making a welcome return after a major rebuild which fortunately has included a Ce certified boiler. She will join Maldegem’s own Hanomag 0-4-0wt “Yvonne” from 1906 to operate a frequent service on the narrow-gauge line.
On the standard gauge, three of Maldegem’s own locos will be in service: Austerity 0-6-0st WD196, Avonside 0-4-0st “Fred” and St Leonard 0-4-0t “Yvonne” of 1893. There will also be a visiting steam loco on the standard gauge. This will be Haine St Pierre built 0-6-0t loco no 1378 of 1922 from the Dendermonde – Puurs Railway. This loco formerly worked at the Scheerders Van Kerkhove brick works in Sint Niklaas. Two Belgian Railways preserved General Motors Co-Co diesels, numbers 5404 & 5512 are also planned to visit and should also work some trains on the preserved line. A different visitor will be a Stanley steam.
Kevin M. Hoggett