A MAJOR new diesel gala is to be held at the Apedale Valley Light Railway this year.
The Diesel Delights weekend of October 7-8 will see many of operator the Moseley Railway Trust’s collection of internal combustion locomotives in action.
Several will haul passenger trains – in some cases, these will be the first-ever passenger workings for locomotives more than 50 years old!
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Looking further ahead, in 2018 the trust will hold the third of the award-winning Tracks to the Trenches events, themed around the First World War.
The trust wants to hear from potential exhibitors of WW1-appropriate items, particularly road vehicles.
The trust held this year’s annual gala on May 13-14, on the theme of the centenary of the Kerr, Stuart 0-4-2ST No. 2395 of 12917 Stanhope, which was built a few miles from Apedale.
Three visiting engines attended, two built by Kerr, Stuart, and the third built to one of the company’s designs. They were Sirdar 0-4-0T No. 1158 of 1917 Diana from the Bala Lake Railway, Wren 0-4-0STs No. 3128 of 1918 from the Statfold Barn Railway and new-build No. 3905 of 2008 Jennie from the Amerton Railway.
With the home-based fleet of Stanhope and 1916-built Kerr, Stuart Joffre 0-6-0T No. 3014 of 1916, it is believed that this was the largest gathering of Stoke-built locomotives in preservation.
The gala attracted more than 1000 visitors.
The centenary of Stanhope was marked with various cakes, while its owner, Dr John Rowlands, made a speech describing the story of how the locomotive survived into preservation. Stanhope’s story has now been told a new book by Phil Robinson and published by the trust.
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