The pulling power of a pair of rare industrial locomotives has helped to haul in more than £2,500 for two Teesside charities.
More than 200 rail enthusiasts made fast tracks to the Wensleydale Railway for a once in a lifetime chance to gauge to finer points of the historic Class 08 shunting locos.
The British Rail manufactured Bryan Turner and John W Antill were built in 1960 and 1962 respectively and have hardly ever been seen before in public, having been used on privately owned industrial land throughout their existence.
Purchased by ICI in the mid-1990s they were first used at Billingham and then Wilton before Sembcorp Utilities UK took over their ownership in 2003, using them to pull coal wagons the two miles from the Tees to Wilton for use as a fuel in Wilton Power Station.
Rail devotees from all over the UK quickly snapped up the £45 tickets for the chance to enjoy the 22-mile journey from Leeming Bar to Redmire in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales on vintage carriages pulled by the 49 tonne diesel locos.
Their generosity will now benefit Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Normanby and Redcar’s Junction Foundation for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and their families, as well as boosting the Wensleydale Railway coffers by a further £1,800.
Organiser Kev Adlam of the Branch Line Society, said: “It was a special and truly memorable event for everyone involved and we’re extremely grateful to Sembcorp for loaning us the shunters.”
Jerry Dickinson of the Wensleydale Railway said: “It was fantastic – the event of the year for us and exactly the sort of partnership with business we’re looking for in our efforts to broaden the appeal of this beautiful heritage line.”
Terry Waldron, of Sembcorp Utilities UK said: “We were happy to oblige with the loan of the locos as we no longer use them and knew it would help to raise important funds for two great Teesside causes.”