For 2016 the Churnet Valley Railway is delighted to see the return ofâ€¨ our popular "Winter Steam Gala" on its traditional last weekend ofâ€¨ February date. Unfortunately due to an issue beyond the CVR's control, we are forced toâ€¨ announce that our plans for a fourth loco have had to be scrapped dueâ€¨ to access issues at Froghall.
We are hoping the issue does not proveâ€¨ to be long term, in fact positive talks are presently ongoing. Howeverâ€¨ at present we currently have no way of allowing low loaders to accessâ€¨ the CVR, and with the event less than a month away the decision hasâ€¨ been made to cancel the proposed hire agreement we had for Beattieâ€¨ Well Tank no. 30585 now rather than hold out in hope, only to thenâ€¨ cancel at the last minute. This change has only happenedâ€¨ recently, and subsequently some of our press releases we sent out areâ€¨ now wrong for which we can only offer our apologies.â€¨
The show will go on though with the three engines we have onsiteâ€¨ operating to a new gala timetable. Star of the show willâ€¨ be the return to service of USATC S160 no. 6046, operating her firstâ€¨ trains along the CVR since April 2014. The locomotive suffered aâ€¨ catastrophic failure in September 2014 whilst out on hire, and has notâ€¨ pulled a train since, so this will be the first chance to ride behindâ€¨ her following repairs.â€¨
Winter guest GWR 'Taffy Tank' no. 5619 will be operating her finalâ€¨ public services along the CVR before her planned return home to Bodminâ€¨ in March. The locomotive arrived on hire to cover for 6046 absenceâ€¨ over the Christmas period, and the locomotive has proved to be aâ€¨ powerful and efficient engine on the services she has operated alongâ€¨ our line.â€¨
She will spend the weekend though operating as sister loco 6643, as part of the weekend one of the many railtours run in 1950s and 60s is to be re-created. 6643 hauled the Swansea Railway Circle’s ‘The Rambling 56’ tour on 31st July 1965, which was a farewell to the class around the Welsh Valleys they were associated with during their last year in operation.
The third and final engine in service will be our ever-reliable Polishâ€¨ TKh no. 2944. Having received her "Hotspur" nameplates during theâ€¨ course of her winter maintenance, the loco will be operating at herâ€¨ first steam gala since restoration was completed in June 2014.â€¨
Further attractions for the weekend will see a re-creation of Station Pilot duties around Cheddleton, where both the line's Engineâ€¨ Shed and Carriage & Wagon workshop will be open to visitors, allowing peopleâ€¨ to see behind the scenes.â€¨
For further information please see our events’ page >here<.