Video: Historic last Leeds steam engines return to city for 150 gala

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The last steam locomotive built for commercial use in Leeds and the UK as a whole is back in the White Rose.

To mark 150 years since the formation of the Hunslet Engine Company, a world famous producer of locomotives, the 3890 NCB No. 66 has arrived back in Leeds along with other historic engines ahead of a celebratory gala.

A WHOLE LOCO LOVE: Malcolm Johnson , Chairman of Middleton Railway Trust, by the NCB No 66 loco. Picture: Steve Riding

A WHOLE LOCO LOVE: Malcolm Johnson , Chairman of Middleton Railway Trust, by the NCB No 66 loco. Picture: Steve Riding

Middleton Railway Trust, in Moor Road, Hunslet, will this weekend pay tribute to the firm which closed its neighbouring Jack Lane works in Hunslet during the mid 1990s having built locomotives since 1865.

The No. 66 has been loaned from the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre having only recently returned to steam, and will sit alongside engines including the John Alcock which was the first diesel locomotive built by Hunslet.

The Hunslet 150 Gala will start with a gathering of ex-staff on Friday before a display of engines and memorabilia on Saturday and Sunday.

Ian Smith, vice president of the trust, said: “They built locomotives literally for all over the world.

“Their products were built to last and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Hunslet locomotives still working out there in place like India and Pakistan, which is testament to their quality. We wanted to mark the occasion because Hunslet is such an integral part of the community – people are still interested.”

The volunteer-run Middleton Railway, which is the world’s oldest continuously working railway having been established in 1758, will also display the Trankil No4. The engine, which was originally exported to Indonesia was the last steam locomotive built by Hunslet in 1971.

Visitors can drive an engine for £5 on the day, enjoy real ale, workshop tours, a vintage bus service and hot food at the event, for which the trust has already sold more than 70 advanced tickets.

Visit hunslet150.webs.com for further information.

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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