Steam is the king at the Swanage Steam Gala

STAR ATTRACTION: The London and South Western Railway T9 running on the platform

STAR ATTRACTION: The London and South Western Railway T9 running on the platform

First published in News by

RAIL platforms were packed with people attending the inaugural spring steam gala in Swanage.

The start of the Easter school holiday saw people flock to look at the iconic engines and organisers declared the weekend a huge success.

Steam engines are a regular sight in the town but this was the first time such a celebration of steam travel had been displayed in a spring gala.

Swanage Railway Company Chairman Peter Sills said he had been delighted by the turnout and there had been a great atmosphere – in spite of the dreary weather.

“I have met a lot of very happy people around. It has been a very busy day and I think everybody has really enjoyed themselves,” he added.

The star attraction was a London and South Western Railway T9 – class number 30120 – which was attacked and damaged during World War II by the Luftwaffe.

“It was attacked just outside Wool, but has been repaired and is back in service,” added Peter.

Designed for express passenger work by Dugald Drummond in 1899, the train could be frequently seen in the area during the early and mid 20th century.

On Saturday train enthusiasts took pictures of the distinctive engines as they made their stops and sped down the line.

Another Drummond creation, an M7, which was used on the Wareham to Swanage line for many years, was also on show.

Peter said it was the variety of the five locomotives at the gala representing different eras and designers in steam travel which made the event so unique.

He added: “It was quite a first to have these five here at the steam gala.”

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