The Lavender Line
The Lavender lines first diesel gala in almost 10 years took place over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of July and what a weekend it turned out to be! With a line up of no fewer than 5 operational diesels the event truly did reflect the railways real gala potential with trains running every 30 minutes whilst utilising both platform 1 and 2. The star of the gala was of course our newly out shopped Hampshire thumper unit 1133 which could be seen running from platform 2 every hour, there were also trains running from platform 1 every hour which consisted of newly out shopped Andrew Barclay DM, our resident shunter Valiant and our privately owned Wickham railbus. All of these diesels proved to be very popular with visitors and the feedback on the verity of the diesels was fantastic.
Unfortunately the Andrew Barclay was taken out of traffic for the Sunday of the gala due to an overheated bearing but fortunately she had a good run throughout the day on the Saturday. Throughout the weekend there was also the opportunity to enjoy free cab rides onboard one of our resident shunters, planet and Valiant took charge of these duties and proved to be very popular. The air goods train was also a popular addition which consisted of 2 wagons, the grey shark brake van and our newly painted tanker which has also been vac fitted for service with the steam engine.
Both days went extremely smoothly with trains running on the hour and half hour from 10.30 till 5.00. Our thumper unit 1133 with her new green livery proved to be the real crowd puller, with its unique sounds and Southern green livery it’s a unit almost everyone can relate to seeing as these DEMU’s were only withdrawn from service just 9 years ago. Not only did 1133 have the honour of being the star of the show but she also took the glory of hauling the first official train for the opening of Worth halt which was officially opened with tape on the Saturday morning of the gala, see our other latest news for more information about Worth halt.
The diesel gala has proved to be a real success and plans are already in motion for out next gala weekend in October for our transport weekend over 6th and 7th October. This is setting up to be real gem of a gala and plans will be realised once final details are accounted for, keep an eye on the latest news for more details on this up and coming gala in October.
A big thank you goes out to all the staff members of contributed to the success of the weekend and a very big thank you to the likes of Nick Pidgley, Barry monk, John Padgham who organised and structured the event and of course to all the drivers guards and catering staff who all worked extremely hard to ensure everyone enjoyed their day out.
Big thank you to Nick for allowing us to use his photos