D7017 // Credit Peter Skuce
D7017 // Credit Peter Skuce

The gala planning team at the West Somerset Railway (WSR) has announced details for their upcoming 2018 diesel gala.

General details about the gala

45041 "Royal Tank Regiment" // Credit Clive Hanley
45041 “Royal Tank Regiment” // Credit Clive Hanley

The theme for the Gala is “Vintage Diesels to the Seaside”. Celebrating when diesel of various classes hauled summer passenger trains to seaside across the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.

The gala will take place over three days, these being Friday the 8th to Sunday the 10th June. The Friday and Saturday will see intensive diesel-hauled timetable. The Thursday (the 7th) possibly being a ‘preview day’ where a few diesel-hauled trips would be made and Sunday will see both steam and diesel engines operate trains.

As part of the intensive timetable, evening trains are planned to be running. As well, for the Saturday and Sunday, plans are being put in place for a full beer festival at Williton Station.

Guest and home fleet engines

With discussion among various groups and the gala planning team taking place, it is hoped around five guest engines can join the line-up.

Currently, two guests are confirmed, these are Class 45 ‘Peak’ No.45041 “Royal Tank Regiment” and Class 50 No.50035 “Ark Royal”. Once agreements have been made, announcements will be made on any further guests.

The Diesel & Electric Preservation Group’s diesels, based at WSR, will also be running. Four locomotives will be running, these are class 14 D9526, Hymek class 35 D7017, class 47 D1662 and class 52 D1010 “Western Campaigner”.

If completed in time, fellow Hymek class 35 D7018 should be attending the gala, after over two decades out of traffic.

In total, up to 12 engines could be running!

Jamie Duggan avatar
Since I was a child, I have been a big fan of steam locomotives. This enthusiasm has been become greater in recent years, leading to me becoming involved in a society restoring a standard gauge locomotive. Joining the RailAdvent team in 2017, I help Michael produce articles.