High Praise for Diesel Gala Weekend

Visiting locomotives this year were drawn from three Midlands’ railways. From the Battlefield Line at Shackerstone came Class 25, D5217, from the Great Central at Loughborough came ochre liveried Class 31, D5830 and third of the trio was Class 33, 33 035 normally resident on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

The visitors complemented the home fleet of Class 20 20 031, Class 25 25 059, Class 37 37 075 and 0-6-0 D0226 ‘Vulcan’ with a cameo appearance of D32, the newly restored Mersey Docks and Harbour Board 0-6-0 shunter.

A variety of loco failures, particular on Friday morning, made for a trying time for the organisers of last weekend’s Diesel gala. But despite these failures the overwhelming reaction from the attendees and locomotive owners was very positive with delays minimised and feedback from visitors was that the railway handled the situation well and praised our friendly and welcoming staff in all areas.

The only disappointment was that, in common with the experience on other preserved railways, this year was quieter than in the past.


Photos: Robin Lush and Frank Richards

Lineside photographers, however, were out all along the branch and we are pleased to showcase some of the excellent photographs taken over the weekend. One pleasant feature of the Diesel gala is that locomotives face both north and south whereas steam locomotives predominantly face south, uphill. Some of the photographs therefore reflect a different view of the Railway to that which we are used to. Click here to see the latest photographic album in our Flickr collection.

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