Video: A feast of steam for railway enthusiasts

LEGIONS of steam railway fans gathered at the weekend for was been billed as one of the largest ever gatherings of LNER steam locomotives.

The Barrow Hill Roundhouse museum in North Derbyshire held a Steam Gala and the line-up of 17 steam engines included 13 from the old London & North Eastern Railway, along with others including the recently constructed A1 Tornado.

Many of the engines are on loan from the National Railway Museum in York and include the record-breaking Mallard, which has not been displayed by anyone but the NRM since the 1980s.

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Rail enthusiasts appreciated the first appearance together of Mallard and Bittern, both A4 class locomotives, in the same Garter Blue livery since the 1930s.

It is the first time that both engines have appeared at Barrow Hill, which is the only remaining operational roundhouse, where engines can be rotated on a turntable to change direction, in the country. The museum is operated by the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society.

Family visitors were equally impressed by the original Old Gentleman’s Saloon, which featured in the classic 1970 film The Railway Children and is in reality a former railway director’s saloon.

A spokesman for Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, said before the event: “Several of the locomotives will take it in turn to work passenger trains and there will be numerous opportunities for visitors to see the stars of the show lined up in the shed yard to recreate that ‘top shed’ feel.”

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The Flying Scotsman had been scheduled to appear alongside other preserved locomotives from the same class, but that plan had to be scrapped because the restoration of the engine is taking longer than expected.

It also means the Flying Scotsman will be unavailable to carry the Olympic Torch, as had been planned, this summer.