Published on 30th March 2018
The 2018 West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala is heading on the right track with the announcement of their event which will run from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June 2018.
The theme of 'Vintage Diesels to the Seaside' is planned to celebrate the 1970s and 1980s when a great variety of diesel locos were called on to haul holiday trains to the seaside all over the UK. On the Friday and Saturday all services will be diesel hauled with a limited number of steam hauled trains booked for the Sunday along with the diesels.
Guest locomotives attending the event have now been confirmed as Class 20’s 20189 & 20205 (courtesy of Michael Owen) hauling Class 45 No. 45041 'Royal Tank Regiment' (Courtesy of Peak Locomotive Company), Class 50 No. 50035 'Ark Royal' (courtesy of Class 50 Alliance) and Deltic Class 55 No. 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' (courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society). All these visitors carry British Rail Blue livery. GBRf will be providing transport for these locomotives to the WSR from their various locations around the UK.
The DEPG 'home fleet' is hoped to be back to full strength after huge efforts by the volunteers at Williton. Class 14 No. D9526, (making its return to traffic after a heavy overhaul), Class 33s No.D6566 (No.33048) & No.D6575 (No.33057). No.D6566 itself re-entering service after a heavy overhaul. Class 35 Hymeks No.D7017 & No.D7018 will be in action, with No.D7018 making its first public runs after 23 years out of service and a full engine rebuild by the DEPG team. The ever popular Western Class 52 No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' will also be back on the rails with it's twin maybach engines in action. These locos will also be joined by Class 09 D4107 which will operate shuttles between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren.
A big feature of the 2018 event is a brand new timetable, which should bring far more interest and dynamic travel to the discerning diesel enthusiast.
The gala will also be complemented by a Beer Festival which is being planned for the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust site at Washford to run over the weekend. It is planned to have a good number of real ales available from both local west country breweries and some from further afield to cater for all tastes. Food will also be available at the festival. All trains will call at Washford to enable diesel gala visitors to indulge in a pint or two in between their haulage runs. Please note that there will be no car parking available at Washford and all visitors are encouraged to travel by train.