Drummond M7 No 30053 to visit SDR over February half term
The South Devon Railway is welcoming a visitor for its branch line weekends in February in the form of M7 No 30053, courtesy of the Swanage Railway Drummond Locomotives Limited.
Many members of the class used to work on the former London & South Western Railway's Exmouth and Sidmouth branches in east Devon.
M7 locomotive number 53 (Southern Railway No 53 and E53, British Railways No 30053) was designed by Dugald Drummond and built by the L&SWR at Nine Elms in London in 1905 and worked all over the L&SWR's, and later Southern Railway's, lines.
The loco was withdrawn in 1964 and entered preservation. She was sold in 1967 to Steamtown in Bellows Falls, Vermont in the United States of America in 1967 but returned to England in 1987. She is now based on the Swanage Railway in Dorset.
It is the first time a locomotive of this class has worked on the Buckfastleigh line.
The loco will be in operation over the SDR's branch line gala weekends, 15th/16th February and 22nd/23rd February as well as sharing services on Friday 21st February.
Also expected to be in action will be:
• Sole surviving GWR 2251 class No.3205 making its first gala appearance in lined BR green livery
* GWR/London Transport Pannier Tank No.L92
• 204hp 0-6-0DM No. D2246
• 350hp 0-6-0DE No. D3721
• Diesel Railcar No. W55000
There will also be an on-train real ale bar.
The railway is also open throughout the week between the two gala weekends.
Stop press: Unfortunately GWR 0-6-0PT No 1369 will not be available as the loco is still unergoing repairs.
Drummond M7 tank No 30053 at Corfe Castle on the Swanage Railway. Photo: Andrew P. M. Wright.