Spring Diesel Gala 201828, 29 April
- Class 03 locomotive 03089 courtesy of Mangapps Railway Museum
- Class 20, D8059 courtesy of Somerset and Dorset Locomotive Company
- our homefleet of 31438, 37029 and 03170
- long term visitor 20001
New for 2018 will be brake van rides using 03170 into Epping Forest alternating with its Driver for a Fiver duties.
*** UPDATE - 27th April ***
Regrettably, RSS have advised that they now have a fuel issue with 08580 and it will not be attending our Gala. The loco starts and shuts down and the RSS team are saying it's not fit for traffic. This is a massive blow for all of us, gala team and visitors alike and we apologise for any disappointment caused.
However, RSS have committed to a running day with 08580 prior to the loco going on its commercial contract. If this can be arranged then we will give all those who present a Gala ticket on that day free travel when announced.
So please hang on to your tickets.
Services shown in the timetable as worked by the class 08 locomotives will now be worked by 03089.
*** UPDATE - 26th April ***
Unfortunately despite the best efforts of RSS the necessary repairs to 08568 have not been completed in time and, therefore, we regret that this loco will not be appearing. However, following a few last minute calls, we are pleased to have been able to secure 03089, courtesy of the Mangapps Railway Museum, as a replacement. We think this is the first time that this loco will have worked away from it's home in preservation. It is, of course, the last class 03 to work at Norwich. The 03, being air braked, will work the Epping Forest shuttles with the class 205 Thumper unit and 08580, and it joins our own 03170 which will work driver for a fiver and brake van trips.
08580 has been tested today and requires some final minor snagging to be sorted. We currently expect this to be completed first thing in the morning and then the loco moved to us during the course of the day (Friday).
This is the first of our ever popular Diesel Galas, where the home fleet, along with some interesting visiting locomotives, come out to be put through their paces over some of the most challenging gradients in preservation.
We are delighted to be welcoming a rare Class 08 locomotives in the guise of 08580 courtesy of RSS Railway Support Services.
We are also delighted to welcome back D8059 which last visited in 2016. With two class 20 locomotives appearing, the locos will run both individually and at times paired during both gala days and the evening real ale train. D8001 and D8059 will provide the sight of a pair of green 20s working only a few miles from East London and Devons Road where 20s were first introduced into traffic in 1957.
Class 45 "Peak" locomotive 45132 will be on display and, although not yet operational, the owning group hope to have the loco available for cab and engine room visits.
As usual we will be running a 3 train intensive service throughout the weekend with late running Beerex on Saturday. All trains will be running in conjunction with our fleet of Heritage buses, which will be operating between Ongar, North Weald, Epping Underground and Shenfield National Rail stations.
Our on train bars will be also be open, serving a selection of draught beers, as well as a range of wines, lagers and soft drinks, and, on the Saturday evening, we will be running our Real Ale Train.
For those who would like to see the line from the unique vantage point of a loco cab, then we will be offering our popular cab rides for £5; subject to availability, we may even be able to offer driver-for-a-fiver courses. These can't be pre-booked, so just approach the driver (or drivers) accordingly.
The Penny Salon Gallery at Ongar station will have a photographic display entitled "Classic Diesels around London and Essex".
At North Weald we will have a pop-up shop selling second hand books, with a diesel theme. New books are available in Ongar and North Weald Gift Shops, many at reduced prices.
The train and bus timetables for this event are now available! Select the appropriate link below.
Our gradient profile can be found here.
Special Fares Apply. Discounted advance tickets can be booked online below!
In advance: Adult £16; Child £10; Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £43
On the day: Adult £18; Child £12; Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £49
Tickets are valid for travel all day on our trains and connecting buses, including the evening real ale trains.
Additional fares apply for "Driver for a fiver"; "Cab Rides for £5" and "Brake Van rides with 03170". None of these can be pre-booked, simply speak to the crew on the day to book your place!
We will be serving a selection of real ales and ciders in the Flag and Whistle on-board bar, all day. We expect the following to be available:
- Roadie (4.3%)
- Progressive (4.8%)
- Nightliner (5.7%)
East London Brewing Co
- ELB Pale Ale (4.0%)
- Foundation Bitter (4.2%)
- Peacock English Pale (4.2%)
- Nightwatchman Dark Premium Ale (4.5%)
- Jamboree Golden Ale (4.8%)
- Cowcatcher American Pale Ale (4.8%)
- Big Bear (Medium - 6.4%)
- Snailsbank Orchard (Dry - 5.2%)
Real Ale Train - Saturday Evening
We will be running trains into the evening on the Saturday. All Diesel Gala All Day Rover Tickets are valid on the Real Ale Train, the supplement of £10 is only if you are not in posession of a Gala All Day ticket.
Further details of the Real Ale Train can be found here.
If anyone wishes to attend with a sales stand, please email Marco on firstname.lastname@example.org and reserve your space now.