Home / Railway Gallery / Standard Gauge Heritage Railways / East Lancashire Railway / ELR 2019 / ELR Spring Steam Gala Day 3 - 10th of March 2019 [72]


The 3 day ELR Spring Steam Gala is usually a very good event, and normally I would be there on at least two of the days, but due to it being held on the same weekend as the nearby Keighley & Worth Valley Railway's annual 3 day event I was only able to get there on Day 3 this time. This was an unfortunate bit of bad planning, and from talking with many other enthusiasts at both events it seems that I wasn't the only one who suffered with this problem. Galas can be an expensive business at the best of times, but having to pay to attend two on the same weekend is a bit much for many of us, and spoiled the enjoyment somewhat. As it was, and because of a forecast of snow on Day 3, I had no choice but to attend the other event on Day 1, as it's a lot easier for me to get to the ELR and that means less risk of being stranded there if the weather gets too bad. As it turned out we did have a lot of snow in the morning, but thankfully it didn't stick, it was however very wet stuff, and with a very strong and cold breeze a lot of trips to the station buffet were required to keep me from freezing up. Snow looks great and really helps your shots when it's on the ground, but when it's falling, and in very large flakes at that, it does play havoc with your camera's autofocus and makes it much harder work then when shooting in the rain. I had this problem when the visiting Caledonian 419 arrived on its first run, and then to really take the mickey we had a hailstorm for its second appearance, and then to really rub it in it was bright and sunny on its final run, but the Sun was behind it that time, so what a struggle it was to try and get a clear shot of this impressive little loco. Well I did say I like Crap Weather and I got plenty of it this time, but maybe I'd better lay of the Rain Dances for a few weeks now, as all the footpaths were so flooded and muddy that I wasn't able to get down to many of my favourite spots. Some photters are just never happy are they! :-)

Locos taking part in the Gala included the following visitors: 78018, appearing courtesy of the Great Central Railway, Darlington Railway Preservation Society (owner) and Loughborough Standard Locomotives Group, the Caledonian Railway 419, which was appearing courtesy of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, and from the home fleet: 4270 (currently on loan here), 34092 'City of Wells', L&Y 52322, 2890 (Douglas), and 32 'Gothenburg'. Also making its debut into official service was the beautifully restored BR Standard 4 Tank 80097 owned by the , Bury Standard 4 Group, and the other on hire BR Standard 4 Tank 80080 from the PRCLT, in its first return to traffic following its recent overhaul. Quite a nice line up of locos this year. It was also unusual to see a Sunday Dining Train during a Gala, and this arrived topped and tailed with City of Wells and 2890, with 2890 detaching at Rawtenstall and returning on a later run.

My thanks to all the crews, volunteers and station staff for their efforts in putting on an enjoyable event, but please Mr Organiser, no more clashes with other local events, we're not all made of money!

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