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Steam Gala May 2024

Sat 4th May 2024 - Mon 6th May 2024

Unlimited All Day Travel 

Calling all railway enthusiasts, families, and anyone with a love for steam engines! Mark your calendars for the upcoming May Bank holiday weekend, as Churnet Valley Railway gears up to host its first Gala since the unforgettable event of 2019. 

You won't want to miss this historic occasion, especially with the arrival of a true legend: 4079 'Pendennis Castle'. This iconic locomotive holds the distinction of being the first Great Western Mainline Passenger engine to grace the rails of the Churnet Valley. With its storied history, including a famous victory over "The Flying Scotsman" at the turn of the century, Pendennis Castle is celebrating its 100th birthday in grand style. 

But the excitement doesn't stop there! Joining Pendennis Castle in the festivities is a local favorite, 75014 'Braveheart'. This charming engine, which has spent the latter half of its life working in the area (check out the news post for more details: link), adds a touch of nostalgia to our home fleet lineup for this action-packed weekend. 

Get ready for a whirlwind of steam and excitement as Churnet Valley Railway operates its most intense timetable since 2019. Don't miss out on this unforgettable event that promises to reignite your passion for railway heritage! 

GWR Castle - 4079 'Pendennis Castle'  

Join us in May 2024 as we proudly welcome the arrival of ex-GWR Castle No. 4079, the legendary "Pendennis Castle". This iconic locomotive will be gracing the tracks of the Churnet Valley Railway for the entire month, courtesy of the Didcot Railway Centre. Pendennis Castle completed a number of runs along the mainline before setting sail for Australia. Included in these trips was a trip to Exeter central which saw the engine working hard to climb out of the notorious station on its way back to London. While operating at the Churnet Valley this will be the first time in nearly 50 years that the engine will encounter gradients as taxing as 1in39 and 1in45 as it head for Ipstones.  

 

British Railways Standard 4MT - 75014 'Braveheart'  

We are also delighted to announce the arrival of "Braveheart", courtesy of the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. Working on selected dates in February, March and April, the gala weekend will be your last chance to catch 75014 along the Churnet Valley. The Churnet Valley Line has a rich history with the 75xxx class locomotives. 75014, once based at Stoke Shed (5D). Sister locomotive 75035 operated some of the final passenger services from Leek before closure. Similarly, 75014, had a stint at the shed between September 1963 and 1964, undoubtedly contributing to the heritage of the Churnet Valley line. 

Don't miss this unique opportunity to witness these historic locomotives in action on the scenic Churnet Valley Railway. Mark your calendars and join us for a memorable experience celebrating the glory of steam.  

See "Braveheart" in action below for a taste of things to come...

USATC No. 6046: A Transcontinental Journey 

No. 6046, originally constructed by the Baldwin Locomotive Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, emerged from the ashes of World War II with a mission. Exported directly to France in 1945 to aid in post-war reconstruction efforts, it dutifully served under the French SNCF. Despite the fate of many S160s meeting the scrapyards, fate had different plans for 6046, leading it to Hungary. 

In 2013, 6046 found a new home in the UK, embarking on a new chapter of its storied existence. Now, after an extensive 18-month overhaul by Batt Holden Limited, No. 6046 is primed to return to the limelight. Its eagerly awaited guest appearance at the upcoming gala marks a triumphant comeback since its last showing at Super Power Weekend in 2020, promising enthusiasts a glimpse of history in motion. 

 

No. 5197: From Ohio to China and Beyond 

Meanwhile, No. 5197 boasts a journey that spans continents, echoing the global impact of its brethren. Born from the workshops of the Lima Locomotive Company in Ohio, USA, in June 1945, 5197 embarked on a journey to China in January 1946. Weighing an impressive 135 tons in full working order, it carved out a successful career on both domestic and foreign tracks. 

Once in the UK like all great machines, No. 5197 eventually required a period of rejuvenation. In December 2009, it was withdrawn for a full overhaul, signaling the start of a meticulous restoration process that spanned several years. Emerging from its refurbishment just in time for the 2017 Winter Steam Gala, it made its debut alongside sister locomotive 6046, marking a historic reunion and becoming the first pair of S160s to grace UK rails since 1944. 

For the enthusiasts among you...  

The climb from Leekbrook Junction to Ipstones Loop offers one of the most challenging gradients in preservation for the locomotives to tackle, starting away from Leekbrook Junction the line heads east on a Gradient of 1 in 40 before easing to 1 in 45 for 3 miles, the gradient eases again on the approach to Apesford to 1 in 59 for the remainder of the climb to Ipstones Loop. 

Our guest locos will be very much at home on the these gradients with the climb resembling the South Devon banks once the home of Pendennis Castle such as Dainton, Rattery and Hemerdon! 

Over the weekend expect to see a variety of double headed services tackling the steep gradient along with the locos working sole to Ipstones. 

We are currently finalising our timetable for the event, please check back for updates. 

Below are our user freindly timetables. If you would like a copy of the working timetable, please follow the button below. 


Steam Gala Timetable

The working timetable can be found above in a downloadable PDF for you to bring with you on the day or save to your phone. 

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May - Froghall Departures

Departure Time Destination Locomotive Note
09:15 Ipstones 75014

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

09:55 Leek Brook 6046

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

11:10 Leek Brook 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

12:00 Ipstones  4079

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

12:40 Leek Brook 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

13:55 Leek Brook 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

14:45 Ipstones  5197 + 6046 

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

15:25 Leek Brook  4079

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

16:40 Leek Brook 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton 

17:15 Ipstones 4079

Last Service to Ipstones

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May - Cheddleton Departures

Departure Time Destination Locomotive Note
09:17 Froghall 6046

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall  Froghall 

10:37 Froghall 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

11:12 Froghall 4079

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Froghall

12:02 Froghall 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

13:22 Froghall 6046 + 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

13:57 Froghall 5197

Service toIpstones.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

14:47 Froghall 4079

Calling at Consall & Froghall

16:07 Froghall 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

16:42 Froghall 4079

Service to Ipstones. 

Calling at Consall & Froghall

19:20 Froghall 4079

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Monday 6th May - Froghall Departures

Departure Time

Destination Locomotive Note
09:15 Ipstones 5197 + 6046

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

09:55 Leek Brook 4079

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

11:10 Leek Brook 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

12:00 Ipstones 4079

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

12:40 Leek Brook 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

13:55 Leek Brook 6046

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

14:45 Ipstones 75014

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton , Leekbrook & Ipstones

15:25 Leek Brook 4079

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton & Leek Brook

16:40 Leek Brook 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall, Cheddleton 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 6th May - Cheddleton Departures

Departure Time

Destination Locomotive Note
09:17 Froghall 4079

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall  Froghall 

10:37 Froghall 75014

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

11:12 Froghall 4079

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall, Froghall

12:02 Froghall 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

13:22 Froghall 6046

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

13:57 Froghall 75014

Service to Ipstones.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

14:47 Froghall 4079

Service to Leek Brook

Calling at Consall & Froghall

16:07 Froghall 5197

Service to Leek Brook.

Calling at Consall & Froghall

17:30 Froghall 75014

Service to Ipstones. 

Calling at Consall & Froghall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We strive to provide our customers with the best possible experience. However, due to operational requirements, equipment availability, or other unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to make changes to the locomotives, carriages, route, or schedule of our trains without prior notice. This may result in a diesel locomotive being used in place of a steam engine, or other similar modifications.

While we make every effort to avoid disruptions and meet all promoted services, unexpected equipment failures, issues, or other events outside our control can occasionally impact our operations. In the rare case of a significant change, delay or cancellation, we will do our best to inform passengers in a timely manner and make alternate arrangements where feasible.

We appreciate your understanding that the complex nature of operating heritage rail services means some flexibility may be required. Our team is dedicated to providing a memorable and enjoyable experience for all passengers, and we thank you for your patience and cooperation.