You can almost hear the station announcement: ‘The train scheduled to arrive at Portsmouth & Southsea at 1445 is running approximately 40 minutes late because... of heavy traffic in Commercial Road.’
Forget ‘leaves on the line’, the ‘wrong kind of snow’ and ‘high levels of sickness among train crews’.
This was the unusual scene in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, in August 2006 when a steam locomotive on a low-loader would have caught everyone’s attention.
The picture has been posted on the Facebook page Portsmouth Nostalgia, Pictures from the Past by Mike Jeavons and people have been wondering just why it was there.
It was 41313, a Class 2 2-6-2 tank loco designed for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway by George Ivatt and it was on its way to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet.
Construction of the class began in 1946. Ten locomotives were completed before nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the remaining 120 being built by British Railways.
It was built at Crewe in 1952 and entered service at Brighton the same year but was sent to Exmouth Junction a month later for local passenger work in the Exeter area.