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Tuesday 18th October 2022 Ropley Dean, Alresford, SO24 0BL

A full day of steam photography featuring SDJR 7F No.53808 hauling a British Railways era goods train

Join us for a full day of Autumnal steam railway photography at the Mid-Hants Railway in Hampshire featuring Somerset & Dorset 7F Class 2-8-0 No.53808 in BR black livery hauling a mixed goods train formation


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About this event

We are delighted to offer the opportunity to photograph SDJR 7F Class 2-8-0 No.53808 hauling a British Railways era goods train at the Mid-Hants Railway in Hampshire, the locomotive’s current home base. We will run with a mixed goods train formation and travel will be by train throughout. Please arrive by 07.00 in time for our routine but most important safety briefing before we depart. There is ample free parking for everyone in the car park located off Bighton Hill.

We expect to have a short lunch break at Arlesford Station where we can either get something to eat at station cafe (opening not yet confirmed) or a very short distance away at the bakery at the end of the street.

No.53808 was one of a batch of five locomotives of this class constructed in 1925 by Robert Stephenson & Company of Darlington, following an initial batch of six locos built in 1914 built at the Midland Railway’s Derby Works. These differed from the earlier members of the class in having larger boilers which they carried until rebuilding at various intervals with 53808 receiving its smaller boiler in 1953. The locos were designed specifically for the steeply-graded Somerset & Dorset route by the Midland Railway which jointly owned the S&D with the London & South Western Railway. Four of the locos survived as late as 1964 in British Railways service, and two of these - 53808 and 53809 - have been preserved. No.53808 was purchased for preservation from Woodham Brothers Scrapyard at Barry in South Wales in 1970 and initially moved to the then Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust (originally the S&D Circle) base at Radstock. The Radstock scheme did not prove successful and in 1977 the engine moved to Washford on the West Somerset Railway. It was 1987 when No.53808 returned to steam and largely operated on the WSR until the 7F moved to the Mid-Hants Railway in 2020. With a smaller boiler, the only authentic livery for 53808 is British Railways black, which it currently carries with the smaller, later crest.

We would like to thank the host Mid-Hants Railway and the locomotive’s owners, the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust, for facilitating this event. We hope you will wish to join us in Hampshire for what promises to be an excellent day of Autumnal steam photography.

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc

Other things you should bring

  • Snacks
  • Bottled water


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location