Our client Newby Hall near Ripon is staging a steam engine gala on its miniature railway over the August Bank Holiday to celebrate the anniversaries of two of its engines.

The Royal Scot and Countess de Grey miniature engines are celebrating 70 and 50 years of passenger service respectively.

From Saturday 26 – Monday 28 August, they will be joined at Newby by two guest miniature engines giving more visitors the chance to experience the joys of steam travel.

Run by a team of 12 volunteers, Newby’s railway opened in 1971 and more than two million passengers have enjoyed journeys over its one and a quarter mile track through the estate’s award-winning gardens.

Famous train drivers around the track have included Lord Mountbatten and racing driver Jackie Stewart.

Described as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of miniature locomotives, Newby’s Royal Scot steam engine was built in 1953 by engineer Stanley Battison for a train enthusiast mill owner and ran around his private estate until it came up for auction after his death in 1971. An exact one fifth miniature replica of the Royal Scot passenger express that ran between London Euston and Glasgow Central on the West Coast Main Line from 1927, it was the first engine to run on the newly opened track at Newby.

Newby Hall commissioned the Countess de Grey engine two years later from manufacturer Severn Lamb. She is loosely based on Western region engines that ran between Paddington and Penzance. Formerly LPG powered, she is now driven by electric battery, with electricity generated via a turbine in the River Ure which runs through the estate’s grounds, producing zero emissions.

Bob Corrie is one of Newby’s engine drivers and engineers. Along with the rest of Newby’s volunteer team, he helped rebuild six train coaches, as well as working on the track, overhauling all the moving parts of the Royal Scot over last winter and building a new signalling system, enabling two trains to run in the busy summer season.

Said Bob: “Although my career was in IT, trains and railways are in my blood with my brother and two nephews working in the industry. We operate three engines on Newby’s track, but the Royal Scot is definitely our flagship engine with visitors being fascinated by all the moving parts, as well as its rarity value so we’re expecting a huge turnout for our special celebration of steam engines over the bank holiday.”

Train tickets are £3, with under 2’s travelling for free and are available on the day from the railway shop adjacent to the platform.

To book tickets for the house and gardens: www.newbyhall.com.

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