For A4 Bittern read Dominion of New Zealand
MY thanks to Richard Pumphrey for his timely postings of steam train movements on our local line. As a pensioner these days, I welcome the chance to return to my boyhood memories occasionally.
With this in mind, and armed with the correct times gleaned from the website advised in Richard’s letter, I took the journey to Huntingdon railway station on Saturday April 16 to see the A4 Pacific (supposedly Bittern) pass through.
These A4 locos would have been familiar sightings on this line back in those days, but I lived in Bedford then and rarely had the opportunity to see these magnificent machines.
Thanks here also to the station staff for allowing non-ticket-holders unrestrained access to the platforms for the occasion.
My wife came with me and enjoyed the occasion as much as I. It is she who noticed the change of name plate to Dominion of New Zealand – ‘something about New Zealand,’ she said to me after an all-too-brief encounter, as the train thundered through the station at a speed more in keeping with its heyday than the age and preciousness of the engine now – a tribute to the preservation team.
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I look forward to seeing the LMS Princess Elizabeth later this month. Other enthusiasts may like to be reminded that it was a sister engine of this class, rebuilt and named as BR 46202 Princess Anne, that was wrecked beyond repair in a tragic crash back in the 1950s, only three months out from its rebuild.
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