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Visit of GWR Locomotive No.1450
and Auto-coach No.178, February 2008

Auto-train - 2nd February 2008 - David Haggar

At the start of 2008, the Bluebell was host to Great Western Railway locomotive number 1450 and the Auto Coach Trailer number 178. The operation of the pair spanned the month of February, concluding with Branch Line Weekend.

The photo above shows the Auto-train on what had been planned as its first day in service - 2nd February 2008 (David Haggar). However, its debut actually happened on 19th January, when it was in steam for driver training (photo below, Keith Duke). When Loco No.32473 partially failed on one of the service trains, the Auto-train substituted for it on one journey, and for a second journey No.1450 double-headed with 32473 (Nick Talbot's photo below).

Auto-train at Kingscote - 19 Jan 2008 - Keith Duke 1450 and 32473 at Kingscote - 19 Jan 2008 - Nick Talbot

The loco and carriage had arrived on the Bluebell on 3rd January.

1450 at SP - Jon Bowers - 12 Jan 2008 Auto Trailer over pit at HK - Richard Salmon - 5 Jan 2008

Prior to entry into service, the loco was prepared at Sheffield Park (Jon Bowers - 12 January),
and the carriage, over the maintenance pit at Horsted Keynes (Richard Salmon - 5 January)

Auto Trailer interior - Dave Clarke - 6 Jan 2008 Auto Trailer interior - Dave Clarke - 6 Jan 2008

Two photos showing the superbly restored interior of the carriage (both photos - Dave Clarke).

1450 - Andrew Strongitharm - 2 Feb 2008 Auto Train - Paul Pettitt - 2 Feb 2008

Two photos from Saturday 2nd February (Andrew Strongitharm, left, and Paul Pettitt, right).

Auto Train - Richard Salmon - 2 Feb 2008 Auto Train - Paul Pettitt - 2 Feb 2008

Another two from Saturday 2nd February (Richard Salmon, left, and Paul Pettitt, right).

AutoTrain - Derek Hayward - 9 Feb 2008 1450 on Freshfield Bank - Brian Easter - 10 February 2008

The following weeknd was also a fantastic one for photos. (Derek Hayward - Saturday 9 February, Brian Easter - Sunday 10 February)

Autotrain charter - 15 Feb 2008 - Dave Clarke Autotrain charter - 15 Feb 2008 - Dave Clarke Eric Nutland driving the Autocoach - 16 Feb 2008 - Ken Upton

Autotrain in silhouette - 15 Feb 2008 - Jon Bowers Friday 15th February saw the Autotrain being used for a photo charter (Above: two photos from Dave Clarke and one from Ken Upton).

The photo on the right is from Jon Bowers, who organised the charter.

Dukedog and Auto-coach at BLW - 24 Feb 2008 - Paul Pettitt 1450 with Observation Car and Mets - 24 Feb 2008 - Tom James

Whilst the Branch Line weekend (23-24 February) again saw the Auto-tank loco paired with the Auto-coach for most of the time, here we see, in Paul Pettitt's photo, the "Dukedog" paired with the carriage, and in Tom James' photo, No.1450 with the LNWR Observation saloon and the four Metropolitan Railway carriages.

In addition to the above, further photos from the Branch Line Weekend are available from:

Other photos covering the visit:

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Last updated 12 March 2008 by Richard Salmon.
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