Diesel Gala 2018

A long weekend of heritage diesel traction

Home » Events at The Watercress Line

1st - 3rd June 2018

The full line up is now confirmed as:
D8001 (20001)
D8059 (20059)
D5343 (26043)
33202 "Dennis G Robinson"
47579 "James Nightall GC" working its first MHR passenger trips
50027 "Lion"
1125 (205025) 2H DEMU

Enjoy an intensive timetable of diesel locomotives. Check out our exciting line up here

We will be running Driver for a Fiver in the sidings at Alresford and Diesel shunter 08288 will be on display for Fundraising to "Paint an 08".

View the timetable here

On Saturday the gift shop at Alresford will be open until 7:30pm. 

Class 26 D5343 (26043) 

We are delighted to announce that Class 26 D5343 (26043) will be visiting us for the gala weekend, courtesy of the Cotswold Diesel group, at Toddington. This will be the first Class 26 to have ever operated over the Mid Hants Railway, and now gives us type 1's, a type 2, a type 3 and two type 4's for the event.

D8059 / 20059

D8059 is a BR Class 20 Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotive, formerly known as an English Electric Type 1. 228 of these locomotives were built between 1957 and 1968. Weighing 73 tonnes and delivering 1,000 horsepower, they were designed to work light mixed freight traffic at up to 75 mph. Members of the class are nicknamed “Choppers” because of the distinctive engine beat under load which resembles the sound of a helicopter.

D8059 was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd as Works No 2965/8217 of 1961. It was allocated to Sheffield Darnall on entering service in May 1961. In 1964 the loco was transferred to the newly-opened Tinsley Depot and remained there until withdrawal from BR service in January 1990. The locomotive was renumbered to 20059 on 1 January 1973 under TOPS.

The locomotive was withdrawn from EWS Ltd, in 2002 and sold into preservation, and is now owned by the Somerset & Dorset Locomotive Company, and currently based on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway 

D8001 / 20001

Built by English Electric in 1957 at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton le Willows, this locomotive was one of a prototype batch of Class 20 locomotives which owed its origins to the 1955 modernisation plan, in which manufacturers were asked to produce trial builds for evaluation. The design was based on one which EE had designed for export and consequently proved extremely successful at home.

In all, 228 were built by 1968 for freight work, but were also used for summer passenger excursion trains. The prototype batch was first allocated to Devons Road Depot in London (which was the first purpose built diesel depot in the UK), and the locomotives of this class were eventually used throughout almost the entire network but to begin with on the Scottish, Eastern and London Midland regions.

A number of the class are still in use on the main line and at least 28 are now preserved. D8001 worked in the construction of the Channel Tunnel and was for some time at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley. This loco had a brief spell at Washwood Heath in 2011 for an engine overhaul.

Miniature Railway Our miniature railway will be running throughout the gala subject to weather conditions. 


Parking Information:

Where possible, we recommend parking at Ropley
Ropley: We have FREE car parking in a large field next to Ropley station. Postcode SO24 0BL
Alresford: Pay and Display, free Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Alton: Pay and Display South West Trains car park.
Disabled parking available at Alresford and Alton stations. Disabled drop-off at Ropley station and park in the field.

Adult £25
Child (aged 2-16 yrs) £13
Child under 2 FREE
Family (2 Adults and 2 Children – 1 child effectively free) £63
Adult 3 Day Pass £50
Child 3 Day Pass £25

Advance tickets include all booking fees and tickets cost the same on the day.

Staying for the weekend? Take a look at Watercress Lodges and Campsite located next to Ropley station to make the most of your visit to the railway.

Entry is by travel ticket only. Site/platform tickets, intermediate fares and discount vouchers, including Tesco Clubcard vouchers, are NOT valid for this event. 
Once tickets are purchased they cannot be changed or cancelled for any reason.

The Company does not guarantee that the trains will arrive or depart at the times stated and reserves the right to cancel, alter or suspend any train without notice, or to substitute a different train should this be necessary for whatever reason.

Image for illustration purposes only. 

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