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Margate: Iconic train the Bittern arrived at Hornby site

By Jodie Nesling

Rail enthusiasts were in for a treat as record breaking steam train Bittern arrived at the former Hornby site in Westwood.

The locomotive is one of 35 trains and rolling stock coming to the isle after Locomotive Storage Ltd (LSL) purchased the site last February.

It made its journey from Crewe arriving in Thanet on June 2 where it will be placed on display for the public.

The Bittern has arrived (2330898)
The Bittern has arrived (2330898)

The new museum will be located alongside Hornby's visitor centre which remained at the Margate Road site after the toy firm moved its warehouse to Hersden after 60 years of trading.

LSLl has the main warehouse has undergone extensive engineering works to prepare for the arrival of the first railway vehicles.

Seven railway tracks have been laid in the warehouse, with access loading docks to facilitate the unloading and loading of locomotives and carriages.

Bittern weighs 102 tonnes and its tender weighs 30 tonnes unladen (before coal and water) and travelled from Crewe on a convoy of low-loaders.

Hornby visitor centre (2330902)
Hornby visitor centre (2330902)

The classic Gresley Class A4 Pacific is famous for being the sister train to the record-breaking Mallard and was built in 1937.

In 2013 Bittern entered the record books, becoming the first steam locomotive since the 1960s to run at speeds greater than 75mph.

She set an official speed record of just over 92mph on one of three specially arranged trains

One from London to York, York to Newcastle and finally, just prior to Christmas a return journey to from London to York.

MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay visited the site last week praising the attraction.

He said: " “Over the next few weeks we will have, on our doorstep in Thanet, the start of one of the most significant locomotive museums in the world as part of his collection within some of the warehousing that was once at the heart of the Hornby company’s operations - This is going to be a world class museum. Fantastic!”

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