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The Severn Valley Railway has added another locomotive to its ever-growing Spring Diesel Festival guest list, as it’s joined by a Class 57/3 ‘Thunderbird’ during the event.

The locomotive will attend on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May. It will appear courtesy of Avanti West Coast and through their contact with Direct Rail Services, joining fellow guests Class 47 47712, Class 58 58023, an as yet unnumbered Class 56 courtesy of Colas Rail and a Class 60, thanks to DB Cargo.

The Class 57 has not made an SVR event appearance since class mate 57012 visited the Autumn Diesel Gala in September 2000.

Remanufactured between 1998-2004, Class 57s quickly earned the nickname ‘Bodysnatchers’ amongst enthusiasts, after Class 47 bodyshells were re-engineered to house a new power unit for the Class 57, with a view to improving reliability and performance.

After some of the fleet were leased by Virgin Trains, a number of Class 57/3 locos were named after characters from the popular children’s TV ShowThunderbirds, to reflect their primary role as rescue vehicles.

The line-up for the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Diesel Festival continues to grow, with up to five more locomotives set to be announced.

Alongside visiting guests, home fleet locomotives will make-up a bumper roster with Class 14, 17, 20, 31, 33, 40, 42, 50s and Class 52s set to work across all four days.

To celebrate 50 years of diesel preservation, and to commemorate its place in history as the first-ever preserved diesel locomotive, Class 42 D821 will play a starring role in the event in a new, never-before-seen livery.

Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster, Managing Director at the Severn Valley Railway said: “This is a truly momentous occasion that we think deserved a locomotive line-up on a scale that has never been seen before on a heritage railway.

“We’ve announced five fantastic guests so far, and we’ve got even more up our sleeve once arrangements have been finalised. Whatever your preference of locomotive traction, there’s definitely going to be something to interest you during four days of intensively timetabled celebrations.

“I’d like to thank all our partners, including Avanti West Coast and Direct Rail Services in this case, for supporting our event.”

Tickets for the event are on sale now at svr.co.uk.

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