Diesels on parade at Keighley and West Somerset galas

Two railways at opposite ends of the UK staged successful galas on June 6-8, with examples of Classes 08, 20, 25, 33, 35, 37, 42 and 52 in action.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway held its annual diesel gala featuring no steam traction, while the West Somerset Railway’s annual mixed traction event had diesel-only operation on June 6, and one steam rostered duty on June 7/8.

The KWVR featured three visiting locomotives, a smaller number than usual. All three arrived by road, and had not visited other galas previously.

Visiting the KWVR were Class 25 D5217 (25067) from the Battlefield Line, Class 31 D5830 (31463) from the Great Central Railway, and 33035 from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. 

The ‘25’ is owned by Martin Sargeant, and visited his Nemesis Rail facility at Burton on the way north to ensure it was in good mechanical condition. The ‘31’ is owned by the Type One Locomotive Co Ltd, and carries ‘Golden Ochre’ livery trialled on one classmate. 

KWVR residents in action were 20031, 25059 and 37075. The latter was making its debut in unbranded triple grey, following a year in non-standard green that had been applied for filming work. Also in use were D32 (after ten years out of action for an overhaul), D0226 and 08266. The three shunters worked Keighley-Ingrow West shuttles.

In the West Country, the WSR gala had a Hydraulic theme, and was visited by D821 Greyhound and main line-certified D1015 Western Champion, both of which are owned by Diesel Traction Group. The ‘Warship’ is based at the Severn Valley Railway, but has undergone repairs at the WSR that include welding work. 

Residents in action were D832 Onslaught, D1010 Western Campaigner, D7017 and D9526. Class 47 D1661 (47840) North Star was the standby locomotive.

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