A SPECIAL steam locomotive will be the star attraction of this year’s Spring Gala by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The Class A4 Pacific Bittern will be on show from Saturday to Monday (April 25 to 27) and on the weekend of May 2 to 5 after its recent tour with similar engines as part of the National Railway Museum’s ‘Mallard 75’ events at York and Shildon.

The affectionately-named Bittern will feature alongside other railway giants including the ‘Lancashire Fusilier’ and the ‘Jinty’ tank engine. The Gala will also be celebrating the 110th birthday of the ‘Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Colliery’ tank engine where the locomotive will be restored to its authentic green colour.

Philip Benham, NYMR general manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome ‘Bittern’ back to the railway two years after its last visit. The engine is a firm favourite on The Moors and we are excited that it will be joining our Spring Steam Gala line-up after its winter exploits, and participation in the ‘Mallard 75’.”

There will also be trade stands at NYMR stations and a model railway exhibition in the Learning Centre at Pickering Station.