For 2016 the Churnet Valley Railway is delighted to see the return of our popular "Winter Steam Gala" on its traditional last weekend of February date. Unfortunately due to an issue beyond the CVR's control, we are forced to announce that our plans for a fourth loco have had to be scrapped due to access issues at Froghall.
We are hoping the issue does not prove to be long term, in fact positive talks are presently ongoing. However at present we currently have no way of allowing low loaders to access the CVR, and with the event less than a month away the decision has been made to cancel the proposed hire agreement we had for Beattie Well Tank no. 30585 now rather than hold out in hope, only to then cancel at the last minute. This change has only happened recently, and subsequently some of our press releases we sent out are now wrong for which we can only offer our apologies.
The show will go on though with the three engines we have onsite operating to a new gala timetable. Star of the show will be the return to service of USATC S160 no. 6046, operating her first trains along the CVR since April 2014. The locomotive suffered a catastrophic failure in September 2014 whilst out on hire, and has not pulled a train since, so this will be the first chance to ride behind her following repairs.
Winter guest GWR 'Taffy Tank' no. 5619 will be operating her final public services along the CVR before her planned return home to Bodmin in March. The locomotive arrived on hire to cover for 6046 absence over the Christmas period, and the locomotive has proved to be a powerful and efficient engine on the services she has operated along our line.
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 Polish TKh no. 2944. Having received her "Hotspur" nameplates during the course of her winter maintenance, the loco will be operating at her first steam gala since restoration was completed in June 2014.
Further attractions for the weekend will see a re-creation of Station Pilot duties around Cheddleton, where both the line's Engine Shed and Carriage & Wagon workshop will be open to visitors, allowing people to see behind the scenes.
For further information please see our events’ page >here<.