After the locos arrival from Crewe, 44422’s tender underwent some repairs to stop several water leaks in the tender. The tender had been standing outside of nearly a year so some repairs were expected.
The loco had not moved under is own power (apart from a few short runs at Crewe minus the tender) since June 2013 so it also required some minor attention before it could be used for the gala.
The weekend of the 5th and 6th of March was the event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Somerset and Dorset Railway and the 10th – 13th March was West Somerset Railway’s Spring Gala.
44422 was in traffic for all the days usually double headed with various other locos which were common on the Somerset & Dorset.
On the Wednesday, a non gala day, 44422 did one return trip solo from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead with a return trip from Minehead to Williton in between.
Despite a superheater element failing on the Saturday the 12th of March, which the WSR staff at Minehead manage to fix in between trains so that 44422 did not miss a rostered train, the loco performed faultlessly and certainly looked the part double headed with the 7Fs and Bullied pacifics.
Below are links to the www.wsr.org.uk website showing a selection of photos. Other photos of 44422 are available on the website.