Historic event at Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway ‘unlikely ever to be repeated’

Chaloner in 1968
Chaloner in 1968

Saturday, June 29, 1968 saw the first steam-hauled train, operated by Chaloner, on the line at Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the locomotive will haul a public train on her own for the first time in more than 30 years at Leighton Buzzard on Sunday, July 1.

The special train will depart from Page’s Park at 1.30pm, returning at 2.50pm, and will be available to pre-booked ticket holders only at an enhanced fare of £12 for adults, £10.50 for over 60s and £7.20 for under 18s.

Honourary Vice President, Alf Fisher, who bought Chaloner to the railway in 1968, having paid just £21, said: “I am excited about this historic occasion. She was originally in such worn out condition that she could only just pull herself along with one coach and sometimes you wondered if she would ever get back (and a couple of times she didn’t). Now her performance is totally unrecognisable, and this is an unmissable opportunity.”

Prior to hauling the historic train, passengers will also be able to enjoy free footplate rides on Chaloner within the station limits.

The railway say this is an historic event that is unlikely ever to be repeated.

Fee-free online booking is available at www.buzzrail.co.uk, and staff advise booking in advance to reserve your place, as numbers are very limited due to the haulage limitations of the small engine.