For only the second time in 50 years a steam locomotive has hauled a vintage train into Uckfield station.
Last Saturday, November 9, the Railway Touring Company included Uckfield in its itinerary for a steam train tour in East Sussex.
The train, hauled by a locomotive at each end, had first travelled from London to Sheffield Park on the Bluebell Line, and then, on its return journey, came down the line from Hurst Green to Uckfield. At the front was locomotive 34046, A West Country Class loco called ‘Braunton,’ built at the Brighton Railway Works in 1946. After many years languishing in a siding outside Brighton station it was taken away for preservation, returning to steam on a heritage line about five years ago. It eventually earned its main line ‘ticket’ in August this year.
The train was hauled out of Uckfield by a Stanier-design ‘Black Five’ 44932, which created a superb cloud of steam as it worked hard to pull the 13 coach train.
The station platform was crowded and there were more people watching along the route up to the Hempstead level crossing.
Nigel Dobbing, Director of the Railway Touring Company, was pleased with the success of the day’s outing and the warm welcome his train received from Uckfield residents.