Fringe Box



Mayor Meets Steam Train Crew As It Pauses In Guildford

Published on: 7 Dec, 2014
Updated on: 7 Dec, 2014

There was a welcome on the platform at Guildford railway station on Tuesday morning (December 2) when a steam train special, double headed by two engines, pulled in.

Can I have a go? The Mayor, David Elms, chats to the crew of the leading engine.

Can I have a go? The Mayor, David Elms, chats to the crew of the leading engine.

On hand was the Mayor of Guildford, David Elms, Cllr Gordon Jackson and Nicky Price from the tourist information centre (TIC). They met the train crew and staff from Steam Dreams, based in Albury, that organises day trips to destinations around the UK by steam trains.

The borough hopes to work closer with Steam Dreams so that people can buy tickets from the TIC, and it can help promote the train services.

The mayor was not travelling, but fellow councillor Bob McShee, and his wife Ann, boarded the train for the journey to Bristol and back.

From left: Cllr Bob McShee, Nicky price, David Elms, Claire from Steam Dreams, and Cllr Gordon Jackson.

From left: Cllr Bob McShee, Nicky Price, Mayor David Elms, Claire from Steam Dreams, and Cllr Gordon Jackson.

Bob, an avid train enthusiast, was delighted to see the two ‘Black Five’ class engines, Nos 44871 and 45407, pulling the train. Back in the days of regular steam on British Railways, this class of engine, formerly of the London, Midland, Scottish Railway, were rarely seen around these parts of the Southern Region.

Bob said: “The train started out from West Brompton and London and arrived at Guildford via Redhill. Departing Guildford at 9.45am, it then went to Reading and from their via Westbury and Bath to Bristol.

“Although it was cloudy and raining when we left Guildford, the weather in Bristol could not have been better – the sun was shining and it wasn’t cold.

“The train was full and while some of the passengers headed for a Christmas market, my wife and I visited Brunel’s ship the SS Great Britain.

“We had three hours in Bristol before the train left to bring us home (via Swindon and Didcot) and we arrived back at Guildford at 8pm. It was a lovely day out.”

For more details of the trains Steam Dreams is running, check out its website.

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Responses to Mayor Meets Steam Train Crew As It Pauses In Guildford

  1. Mike Melbourne Reply

    December 7, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Just to say it was a pleasure that morning to meet Mayor David Elms at Guildford station for this event whilst filming the trip.

    Steam dreams runs this tour every year along with many others all year round.

    It was good to see local support for all there efforts to make this possible.

    • Gemma Player Reply

      December 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      My four-year-old son would love to see a real steam train.

      Do you know days and times when we might be able to see one at Guildford?

      Wish we had been there!!!

  2. David Rose Reply

    December 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    It’s all on line these days – even times of steam trains!

    Check out this website:

    It lists upcoming steam rail tours throughout the UK.

    There are ones that often pass through Guildford.

    The next one is on Saturday, December 13, the Bellmond Christmas Luncheon Special (VSOE). It’s is due to pause at Guildford for two minutes at 14.13.

    This VSOE Lunchtime Special runs fairly often.

    Good places to watch it pass: Yorkie’s Bridge (that leads from Walnut Tree Close to the University of Surrey). See it as it comes down the line from Woking.

    It then heads to Shalford where it stops at 14.20 for 20 minutes for water. You can park in the car park and go on the platform to have a close-up view.

    You can do both locations if you are driving! Do worry if it runs a few minutes later that times noted.

    However, for further steam trains, be sure to check the website again a day or so before the train you wish to see passes through, as the times are then given.

    Do any other steam train enthusiast readers have suggestions of other good locations to watch the trains in the Guildford area?

  3. Frank Phillipson Reply

    December 18, 2014 at 1:04 am

    A good place to watch eastbound steam rail trips is Gomshall station’s ‘down’ platform (the platform for Guildford bound trains). From there you can get a good view of the locomotive on the ‘up’ line, still working hard towards the summit of the gradient in the Dorking direction. You can park in the station car park.

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