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Steam train in Leigh

The photo shows the locomotive making ready to start, exactly on time at 07:40 from Platform 1, having successfully taken on water.

The latest Steam Dreams special excursion from the Southend area ran on December 9 to visit the City of Chichester for Christmas carols at the cathedral, picking up from Shoeburyness and Southend East.

The train was hauled by Stanier ‘Black Five’ Class 5MT 4-6-0 locomotive ‘The Sherwood Forester’, no. 45231, one of 227 built in 1936 by Armstrong Whitworth. It last ran for BR in August 1968, being withdrawn from Carnforth. Its minor claim to fame was having run the last steam-hauled ballast train on the Furness Line in Cumbria. It is now based at Crewe.

The train called at Leigh-on-Sea station unusually, between 07:15 and 07:40 in order to take on water from a tanker, just as dawn broke on the coldest morning of the year at -4c.

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