Hastings gauge ‘Crompton’ to be based at Spa Valley Railway


AN agreement has been reached for the BRC Workgroup’s No. 33201 to be based at the Spa Valley Railway for the next five years.

The ‘Crompton’ is particularly appropriate on the line, as it was one of the 12 members of the class built to the slimmer ‘Hastings’ line loading gauge – and, as such, would have been a regular performer through Tunbridge Wells in its BR days.

Newly-arrived at the Spa Valley Railway, ‘Slim Jim’ Class 33 No. 33201 passes the old station at Groombridge with the 13.25 Tunbridge Wells to Eridge. The loco is now to be based at the line for the next five years. Neil Walkling

No. 33201 arrived at the Spa Valley Railway on March 9, and made its first workings on the line at the diesel gala the following weekend. For the previous two years, it had been based at the Swanage Railway, this following bodywork overhaul at Washwood Heath after its departure from the Midland Railway-Butterley.

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The arrival of No. 33201 means there are now three ‘Cromptons’
based at the Spa Valley Railway. The line is also home to the South East Locomotive Group’s Nos. 33063/065, of which the latter has been out of traffic since 2008. It is partway
through a major overhaul which began in 2011.

■ The popularity of driver experience courses using ‘Deltic’ No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier at the Spa Valley Railway has resulted in the loco’s hire being extended by a week to enable more courses to take place on September 2-3.

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