With February half term upon us, the traditional winter break comes to an end for a number of our heritage partners. Here we take a look across the railways for a round up of where you can get your heritage fix during half term.
With the summer school holidays drawing to an end, our heritage partners turn their attention to a busy autumn season, before closing out the year with the traditional Christmas events.
Events get underway on the weekend of 9th-10th of September as the West Somerset Railway host their Forties Weekend, ‘A weekend celebrating the sights and sounds of the 1940s. Featuring costumed performers and our popular Saturday night platform dance will be back and taking place at Minehead station.‘
The following weekend sees a double header of gala action as the Severn Valley Railway‘s Autumn Steam Gala runs from 14th – 17th September, ‘It’s the biggest steam gala of the year! Four visiting locomotives (LNER B1 61306 ‘Mayflower’, Bagnall ‘Vulcan’, USATC S160 2253 ‘Omaha’ and LMS Ivatt 2 41312) will star alongside members of the SVR’s home-fleet for a bumper four days of intensive timetabling‘.
If diesel is more your thing, then the East Lancashire Railway‘s Autumn Diesel Gala runs on the very same weekend, on the 15th & 16th of September. The renowned home fleet is boosted by the chance to ride behind Class 40, 40012 ‘Aureol’ courtesy of The Class 40 Appeal. An evening Beer-ex runs on both days for those that wish to maximise their Diesel Bash experience.
We are treated to another double header of action the following weekend as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a 4-day steam gala, running from 21st-24th September. ‘Ride behind our guest locomotives and home fleet engines across the four days with services calling at Pickering, Levisham, Newtondale Halt (by request), Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby stations‘.
Guest locomotives will be LNER A4 pacific locomotive ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No. 92214, BR Standard ‘Riddles’ 4MT No. 75069 and Caledonian Railway 2P No. 55189.
Scaling things down a little, the Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway host a new event for 2023 with a Heritage Weekend with ‘A variety of special trains will be run with a mix of carriages and wagons representing different periods in the history of the Talyllyn Railway and also the history of where locomotives now based on the Talyllyn have come from.‘ The Heritage Weekend runs from 23rd-24th September.
We round out September back at the Severn Valley Railway for the Autumn Diesel Bash – ‘The Magnificent Seven’, ‘As the leaves turn into vibrant colours, get ready for several former Western Region diesel-hydraulics to be leading locomotives at four-day event Autumn Diesel Bash, running between Thursday 28th September – Sunday 1st October.‘
Class 35 Hymek D7076, Class 42 Warship D821 ‘Greyhound’ & D832 ‘Onslaught’, Class 46 Peak D182, Class 52 Western D1015 ‘Western Champion’ & D1062 ‘Western Courier’ will feature, plus Class 14 D9551 and other members of the home-fleet.
October sees our final two autumn galas, and again we are featuring two different scales. The East Lancashire Railway and Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway both bring us weekend events.
The first of these is the East Lancashire Railway‘s Autumn Steam Gala. ‘Climb aboard and ride all weekend long behind our fleet of sensational steam engines in all their glory. You’ll see all the familiar faces. The full locomotive line-up will be announced nearer the time.‘ Join us for this 3 day steam extravangza from 13th-15th October.
Last, but by no means least, we have the every popular Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch RailwayAutumn Gala. This annual event brings out the very finest of the RHDR fleet, thrown together in all sorts of multiple headed formations and the popular non-stop runs giving us some fantastic viewing on the cameras. The gala runs on the 21st & 22nd October.