Mid Hants Railway (MHR) 6th September 2014
For a 31 basher two of the days at the Mid Hants Railway event were excellent with nothing but class 31’s gracing a set of stock with their presence; the unfortunate thing was that it wasn’t the set with the beer on board. This issue was rectified however by getting beer served between the two trains as they crossed; this mission only failed on one attempt when only the last of four beers failed to make it from one train to the other in time!
A1A Locomotives 31271 & the Dean Forest Railway‘s 31466 had already worked together during the East Lancashire Railway’s July diesel gala but strangely they didn’t actually work in a pair during the MHR Gala and just replaced each other on the same set during the Friday & Saturday of the event but passed each other en-route on different sets on the Sunday.
I only attended on the Saturday of the event when both locos were in fine form and with the dead weight on the rear from Alresford to Ropley each time both were taxed that bit more; 31271 having the edge on it’s class mate in the noise stakes, ‘271 always being one of the best class 31’s in preservation anyway.
The turnout from a class 31 aficionado point of view was excellent and with the mileage on offer it was well worth the making the effort to attend. There was even an opportunity to get 08377 in on a brake van ride during one of the stops in Alresford and the train back to Alton in the evening, off the last 31 hauled train, was 37901/905 in a pair; basically a good day all round. Decent thrash, decent engines, plenty of folk about, beer on sale, a few new engines and at a decent price!
31271 worked the following on Friday 6th September:
1035 Alresford – Alton, 1140 Alton – Alresford, 1435 Alresford – Alton, 1540 Alton – Alresford
31466 worked the following on Friday 6th September:
0935 Alton – Alresford, 1235 Alresford – Alton, 1340 Alton – Alresford, 1635 Alresford – Alton, 1740 Alton – Alresford