Eastleigh United Kingdom

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828 on the Mainline

While based at Eastleigh, E828 was seen on numerous occasions since coming back to life in preservation. As well as her home territory of Salisbury, Yeovil Junction, Southampton and Waterloo, she has visited further afield throughout the country.

During 1993 she was seen double headed with West Country Class 34027 "Taw Valley" from Waterloo to Yeovil, as well as running with no.70000 "Britannia".

Two noted events in the South during 1994 were the VE day celebrations on May 8th when double headed with no. 777 "Sir Lamiel" she ran from Portsmouth to Victoria and later in June, the D-Day commemorative special workings to and from Southampton docks and Salisbury, also double-headed with "Sir Lamiel".

1995 was much quieter, largely due to the imposed Railtrack ban on main line steam runs due to the fire risk caused by the exceptionally hot summer. This resulted in the postponement of an Eastleigh to Bristol trip from May until September, however she did run from Salisbury to Littlehampton on May 21st, being the first steam to travel the westward Fareham to St. Denys route since the end of steam in the mid 1960's. The Bristol run eventually took place on the 23rd September followed by a Christmas shopping run to London. Unfortunately this was marred by the very late arrival of the coaching stock from London, no fault of 828!

The first run in 1996 on February 11th took 828 from Portsmouth over the mid-Sussex line through Arundel and on through Horsham and Leatherhead to Clapham Junction, a rare route for preserved steam. The return was via Leatherhead and Guildford direct to Portsmouth. A repeat run to Bristol on 25th May to coincide with the Maritime Festival made a very pleasant day out. During September, Harry Frith passed away and subsequently in October, 828 was named "Harry A. Frith" jointly by his daughter and well known artist, David Shepherd. Later that month on the 19th, there was a run from London to Hastings returning by a different route. This was followed three weeks later by a double trip: Eastleigh to London and return with, during the afternoon layover, a circular through Guildford, Redhill, and Croydon then back to London.

828's final main line run on the current boiler certificate was at Christmastime 1997. It began with a stirring climb up Upton Scudamore bank from a standing start at Westbury station and delighted passengers with a fast run to Salisbury, Eastleigh and back to Salisbury.

In the early summer of 1998, 828 travelled to the Bournemouth train care depot open day where it was displayed in light steam. From there it went on to the Swanage Railway, where it regularly worked trains over the picturesque line from Norden, past Corfe Castle to the seaside terminus at Swanage.

 
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