Plans are coming together for the Churnet Valley Railway's annual summer "Anything Goes" gala, expanded to a 3-day event for 2017 - the line's 25th Anniversary Year, running from the 23rd to 25th June with a variety of attractions available for visitors to see.
The highlight of the weekend will be the use of the line's diesel shunters on passenger services. Normally restricted to duties around the engine shed and as part of engineering trains, Janus no. 2748 "Roger H Bennett" and 08633 are planned to operate a train each on Saturday and Sunday. Named after a former volunteer who left the railway a significant legacy, these will be Roger's first public service trains since 2009, whilst the 08 will be hauling its first ever passenger train since becoming preserved. Resident steam locomotive no. 5197 and diesel locomotive 33102 "Sophie" will join the pair in operating an intensive service through the valley all weekend.
The line's engine shed will once again be open to visitors, allowing you to see progress on the line's latest overhaul project – former LMS 8F no. 48173 – that is expected to take just over 4 years to complete having started in earnest this spring.
An addition to this summer event is the CVR's first ever Cider Festival. Following on from the hugely popular Rail Ale Trail and Gins & Trains events, Craft Cider becomes the focus with 16 ciders from the UK available offering a variety of refreshing flavours to sample throughout the weekend. Live music will be offered at Froghall across all 3 days, with local singer Mike Gledhill performing a range of differing sets covering many different eras.
A 2-train service will be in operation along the CVR from 10:30 until 17:00 on both Saturday and Sunday, with a discounted evening service provided by 33102 on both Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available online, with full information available from the website and Facebook page.