The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to be able to confirm the booking of the first visiting steam locomotive to the “Tracks to the Trenches – 2014” event; Baldwin 4-6-0T No 778 from the Leighton Buzzard Railway in Bedfordshire. No 778 has not made many visits to other lines since restoration was completed in 2007, so this event will provide some unique locomotive/rolling stock combinations and photographic opportunities.
These 10-12-D class locomotives (the classification designated by the manufacturer) were supplied en-masse to the British War Department from
1917 onwards in all theatres, eventually totalling nearly 500 by 1918. They were the most common steam locomotive operated by the War Department Light Railways during the Great War. Based on a very similar design previously supplied to the French Army in Morocco, they had a limited life expectancy on the Battlefield of a mere 6-8 months.
Gareth Roberts, one of the event organisers of the “Tracks to the Trenches” event commented; “Today, only a very small number of these machines have survived and an even smaller number are operational. We are extremely grateful to the Greensand Railway Museum Trust and the Leighton Buzzard Railway for making available this locomotive, fully restored to original appearance, for this important WW1 Centenary commemoration.”