Diesel locomotive enthusiasts are on track for a gala day out at the Watercress Line

June 8, 2021
Photo Credit: Tim White
  • Featuring the Watercress Line’s home fleet of diesel locomotives, alongside some special guests

  • Activities also include brake van rides, main works viewing gallery, real ale being served and a barbeque on Saturday evening

  • Three days of diesel-fuelled fun from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June

The Watercress Line will be opening its doors for a Gala Weekend of heritage diesel traction from Friday 25 June to Sunday 27 June.

Visitors to the much-loved attraction will see the railway’s home fleet of diesel locomotives in action, alongside some special guests, showcasing the various types of diesel locomotives that were produced during the 1960s’ modernisation plan.

A full timetable will run over the three-day gala with operating services tackling the steep 1 in 60 gradients. The diesel line-up will include Class 20 D8059 (20059); Class 47 47579 “James Nightall GC”; Class 50 50027 “Lion”; Class 08 08288 “Phoenix” and Class 11 12082 from the Watercress fleet.

Visiting traction will feature Class 25 D7612 (25262), courtesy of the South Devon Diesel Traction group; two Class 73/1 Electro-Diesel locomotives, courtesy of GB Railfreight Ltd, Class 438 4TC unit courtesy of Transport for London Engineering and for the first time ever worked at the Watercress Line, Class 14 D9551 courtesy of Severn Valley Railway.

The gala will have plenty of other activities on offer for visitors to enjoy. There will be brake van rides at Alresford and Alton, main works viewing gallery open and diesel locomotive society sales stands to visit.

An evening barbecue will be on offer on Saturday 26th June and real ale will be served at Ropley station throughout the Gala Weekend.

The Watercress Line’s general manager Simon Baggott said: “The Diesel Gala Weekend promises to give a fascinating insight into Britain’s diesel locomotives of the 1960s. We will have a brilliant line-up of heritage locomotives that will interest railway enthusiasts and delight all visitors.

“There will be lots of fun activities to enjoy throughout the weekend, we expect this gala will be very popular so I advise everybody to buy their tickets in advance online.

“It’s wonderful to see the railway back on track after the past year and we look forward to welcoming everybody to the gala. There’s a full calendar of exciting days for the year ahead too – a day out at the Watercress Line is always a memorable one!”

Find out more and book tickets online in advance, for a discount, at https://watercressline.co.uk/diesel-gala/