Last week one of the bearings on Union of South Africa's tender overheated, to the extent of catching fire, while on the way to London for a forthcoming excursion. The following day it failed again following repairs, so the tender has been taken back by road to the works in Bury for more extensive work.
The excursion will still run, and until late yesterday it was thought a replacement locomotive was available (a 'Black Five', slightly less powerful, running with some diesel assistance). This will not now happen, the London - York leg will be diesel hauled on Saturday morning. The return trip will be hauled by 'Duchess of Sutherland' and will stop at Finsbury Park but at the hour of 2210 so of interest to the very keenest only.
Future [provisional!] trips;
Sat 7 Dec about 0905, details here. Engine is 'Duchess of Sutherland' in its striking red livery.
Sun 8 Dec about 1020, details here. Engine is the new-build 'Tornado'.
Sat 14 Dec but in twilight about 0730, a second outing for Tornado.