Once In A Blue Moon
What a fantastic event last weekend 5th+6th of April, ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ at the ‘Didcot Railway Centre’ in Oxfordshire. The former Great Western Railway engine shed and locomotive stabling point, is fast becoming one of the premier heritage railway sites in the UK. Hundreds of people gathered over the weekend to witness what can only be described as a “rare sight”. The gathering of these beautifully restored former main line engines, resplendent in their British Rail express passenger blue livery. The three engines took turns to shunt two carriages up and down the Didcot Railway Centre main line, sometimes two together.
The engines in question were: GWR King class 6023 ‘King Ewdard II‘, LNER A1 class 60163 ‘Tornado‘, and LNER A4 class 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley‘.
You can see the three engines here in front of the main engine shed at Didcot and the assembled crowds of very exited Heritage Steam Engine enthusiasts.
‘Tornado’ is now a fully fledged main line engine and regularly takes part in excursions up and down the country.
To find out more about Tornado and her £3million re-furbishment, you can visit the a1steam.com website to learn more about the 18 year journey to bring her back to life.
For those of us passionate about these former giants of the British railways it was a very special event indeed, and something you really do see only ‘Once In A Blue Moon’!!.
You can see more photos of the event at the HeritagePhotos website.