Watercress Line - 'Spring Steam Gala' 01/05/2021

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The May bank holiday weekend would see the Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line' host their annual 'Spring Steam Gala' over a four days, with an intensive timetable in use throughout the event. Running from Friday the 30th of April - Monday the 3rd of May, the gala would see 6 locomotives take to the rails on the 10 mile stretch between Alresford and Alton.

Unlike many galas over the past year, passengers were no restricted to a single coach set throughout the day. Instead, passengers were free to change services as often as they wished - with the carriages being thoroughly cleaned at frequent intervals to reduce risk of contamination.

Ex-GWR 6400 'Pannier Tank' Class - 6435 had originally been scheduled to attend the event, visiting from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. However, the locomotive was declared as a failure prior to the event, with the Bodmin & Wenford sending their 5700 Class - 4612 as a replacement. Alongside the 'Pannier Tank', 4575 Class - 5526 was visiting from the South Devon Railway. Over the course of the day, two locomotives would experience problems; 30925 "Cheltenham", and 5526. In both circumstances, Ivatt tank - 41312 stepped up to cover their duties. 41312 had been scheduled to be carrying out shunting demonstrations at Ropley throughout the event, so acted as a perfect substitute in the event of failures.

All the locomotives worked the full line length during the day, with the exception of 4612. The 'Pannier Tank' working a shuttle service between Alresford and Ropley.

GWR 4575 'Small Prairie' Class - 5526
Ex-SR V 'Schools' Class - 30925 "Cheltenham"
BR Standard Class 4MT - 76017
Ex-LSWR S15 Class - 506
GWR 5700 'Pannier Tank' Class - 4612
BR(M) Class 2MT Tank - 41312

All footage filmed on Saturday the 1st of May 2021.
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