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Spring Diesel Festival - May 18-20th 2017

Page updated on: 26/05/17 at 20:02

May 26th 2017

This year’s Diesel Festival had a hard act to follow after last year’s excellent and well-received event. 2017 did deliver with another super event, providing a very wide variety of traction from heritage diesels through to one of the most modern units operating on the network,  88003. The festival this year was made extra special as it celebrated 30 years since the first diesel gala at the SVR and also the 40th anniversary since the cessation of Class 52 Westerns in regular mainline service. The event was blessed with mainly good weather, a great selection of stands at stations, brake van rides at Highley and the general buzz of passengers having a great time during intensive running through the three days. Even with some small signalling issues on the Saturday morning, which were quickly rectified, the event ran smoothly.

Last year we had 4,800 passengers travel with us over the three days, and in 2017 we have surpassed that number already by a margin and the numbers from the intermediate stations will add to the c. 4,810 recorded. An event this size requires a very significant amount of organisation behind the scenes to arrange visits of diesel traction and rolling stock plus the huge task of rostering turns and finally operating the service. Then of course we have The Engine House, stations, catering and retail to fully staff and making sure that maintenance teams are ready just in case repair is needed. To everybody involved your supreme efforts are appreciated and the result was there to see on the smiling faces and compliments received of those who visited, it really was a superb event. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all visiting locomotive and rolling stock owners who came this year, we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did and that you will come again soon.

We will finish with some facts and figures:

  • Bars, retail and catering saw a 25% improvement in sales over 2016

  • 777 Diesel Festival DVDs sold over the event

  • 40 Diesel Festival tee shirts

  • Revenue for ticket sales sold on the day saw a 10% growth on 2016.

Thank you again. 

Nick Ralls General Manager

Jonathan Dunster Chairman, Diesel Committee Director

May 15th 2017

66771 brought 73107 73965 45041 and 47192 (plus D8188 and D8059) with the 0X71 Princes Risborough to Kidderminster SVR

May 10th 2017 - a snapshot

The festival brochure and loco allocations is online.

47828 is in Kidderminster TMD undergoing a repaint 

31271, 33108, 33035, 45060 and 55022 on SVR work, see Meet our Locomotives

20189 and 20205 are also at the SVR

The Mk 2 carriages have arrived (behind 56303)


D8568, 45041 and 47192 are at Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

50008 is at Washwood Heath


News to follow on the mainline fleet of 60xxxx, 667xx, 73107, 73965 and 88xxx


Notable news on the home fleet

D1062 and D9551 have had successful test runs

50007 has been successfully started.

April 24th 2017

45060, 33035 and 47828 have moved in convoy from Okehampton to Bristol behind 20189 and 20205. After almost a year at Dartmoor Railway 47828 is having maintenace and a repaint into Inter City Swallow livery. It will then take part in the gala.

D05 Preservation Ltd's Facebook page.

April 10th 2017

DB Cargo have confirmed they are hoping to provide a Class 60 'Tug' for our Spring Diesel Festival. That's now 16 visiting locomotives starring at the event.

March 30th 2017

We are pleased to announce that Direct Rail Services 'DRS' have agreed to support our Spring Diesel Festival with no less than a brand new Class 88 locomotive. The Class 88 is another technical innovation from DRS for the provision of superior traction equipment for UK operation, which will result in a step change for delivery of freight and passenger services. A further development of the Class 68 platform, the Class 88 is a true “Dual Mode” locomotive combining both 25kv Electric and Diesel Electric operating modes. Our Spring Diesel Festival takes place between May 18-20 and this Class 88 will be making the first ever public passenger runs for its type here at our event  To say we we are thrilled would be an understatement, and we are most grateful to DRS for agreeing to provide this most prestigious guest locomotive to operate at the Severn Valley Railway.

March 22nd 2017

SVR website reports 
'Due to ongoing maintenance, previously announced visiting locomotive Class 37 No. D6700 from the National Railway Museum will no longer be appearing at the event. Additionally, Class 20s No. D8059 and No. D8188 will not be appearing either. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause.'

March 9th 2017

Our final visiting heritage diesel locomotives are Class 20s No. 20189 & No. 20205, the latter of which came to the event last year. With thanks to Michael Owen. 

March 7th 2017
With thanks to Crewe Heritage Trust Class 47 No. 47192 will star at the three day event. 47192 will join classmate No. 47828 

March 6th 2017

Class No. 50008 Thunderer will be visiting the Railway for our Spring Diesel Festival, with thanks to Garcia Hanson, and will be the fourth 50 in action with residents Hood, Ark Royal and Defiance. 

February 24th 2017

With thanks to the National Railway Museum, we have another visiting locomotive confirmed for our Spring Diesel Festival!

Class 37 No. D6700, which last visited us in 2013, will star at the three day event, as well as operate on normal services after the big diesel bash.

Joining the 'Tractor' and already confirmed No. 33035, Class 33 No. 33108 will make an appearance, courtesy of the Class 33/1 Preservation Company. Again, returning to us following its visit in 2012.

February 22nd 2017

Class 47 No. 47828 will be appearing at the three day event, and is the 10th visitor to be starring. In 2001 the engine, then owned by Virgin Trains, was named 'Severn Valley Railway' and will make a triumphant return at the event.

Also see Jonathan Dunster's update on the diesel shed appeal, and up to 20 visiting locomotives planned.

February 16th 2017

A special attraction will be hired-in Mk2 air-conditioned carriages.

February 13th 2017

Another mainline diesel locomotive for our Spring Diesel Festival, this time courtesy of DB Cargo UK!

Nick Gibbons, National Planning Manager for DB Cargo UK, said: "We're delighted to be part of the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first Severn Valley Railway Diesel Gala and are proud that our company will be represented at the event by one of our diesel locomotives."

The class of locomotive will be confirmed closer to the event, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked...

January 18th 2017

Class 17 No. D8568 will visit us courtesy of The Diesel Traction Group.

With thanks to GBRf, a Class 66 and a Class 73 mainline locomotive will visit us. It is hoped that the visiting Class 66 will have never hauled a passenger train in its working life.

January 12th 2017

Class 31 No. 31271 will visit us courtesy of A1A Locomotives Ltd

January 10th 2017

Class 45 No. 45041 Royal Tank Regiment will visit us courtesy of Peak Locomotive Co Ltd, and is sure to turn heads,

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