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A 26 metre (86ft) long convoy of three steam locomotives and a trailer with a gross weight of 75 tonnes is travelling 114 miles across the South Coast this weekend.
The engines are heading from Horsham in Sussex to the Great Dorset Steam Fair at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset before the five day event begins on Wednesday 31st August.
The convoy left at 2am on Friday 26th August, and is scheduled to arrive at the show site around lunch time on Sunday 28th August.
Denise Searle, Director at Les Searle Plant Hire and Sales Ltd, is joint owner of the engines with her husband Les. They are each driving an engine in the convoy along with a total of thirteen family and friends, including three children to assist with the journey.
“We have a trailer that belongs to The Great Dorset Steam Fair and needs to go back to Tarrant Hinton in time for the show. GDSF Managing Director Martin Oliver said to me ‘Why not take it back by steam?’ so I made some phone calls to the authorities and it appeared that this would be possible.
"The Police, Councils and Network Rail have all been absolutely fantastic in helping to allow this to happen and we can’t thank them enough.
"We are also hoping to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust by doing this, as well as providing many spectators along the route with a taste of yesteryear.”
The convoy includes ‘His Majesty’ - a Burrell 6NHP Road Loco, ‘Boadicea’ – a Mclaren 10 NHP Road Loco believed to be one of the largest road locomotives left in Britain, the Crane trailer belonging to the Great Dorset Steam Fair and a transformer load, ‘The Great North’ – a Fowler 8NHP Road Loco, as well as a full crew and support vehicles.
The convoy made a similar smaller journey of 82 miles from London to Brighton then back to Horsham in May, but this 114 mile trip is the group’s biggest challenge yet.
The huge size of the ‘road train’ means that it is incredibly slow moving, with an average speed of only five miles per
It is recommended that anyone travelling on the roads on this route over the bank holiday should allow plenty of time for their journey.
Friday from 2am:
From Horsham yard, Station Road, through Horsham, taking the B2237 to join the A24
Continue on the A24 to Worthing, pick up the A27
Continue on the A24 through Crossbush, Arundel, Tangmere, Chichester
At Cosham follow the old A27, go through Portchester to Fareham
First overnight stop at the Park Gate area of Fareham, arrived at 1pm, (they're on Brunel Way, Segensworth East)
Saturday from 2am:
Rejoin the A27 and follow the High vehicle route via Wide lane then rejoin the A27
Continue on the A27 towards Romsey then Whiteparish joining the A36
Continue on the A36 to Whaddon for the second overnight stop, arriving around 2pm
Sunday from 7am:
Follow the A36 to Salisbury and join the A354
Continue on the A354 to the Great Dorset Steam Fair show ground at Tarrant Hinton
About Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair will take place from Wednesday 31st August to Sunday 4th September in Tarrant Hinton. It covers an enormous showground, at over 600 acres being one of Europe's largest outdoor event locations along with Glastonbury Festival.
It is now widely recognised as "THE" National Heritage Show as well as being regarded as the leading show of its type in the world with over 20,000 visitors attending each year. For more information visit http://www.gdsf.co.uk/.
To view the full festival line-up including the other live music stages visit http://www.gdsf.co.uk/visitors_information/music_festival.aspx.
Tickets are available to book online here: https://www.gdsf.co.uk/booking/buyonline.aspx.