Much stirring in the Forest of Dean in 2022
THE Dean Forest Railway is aiming to have its first locomotive back in steam to mark its 70th birthday and the half centenary of its arrival on the line.
The line’s October 15/16 steam gala will hopefully feature Peckett 0-4-0ST No.2147 of 1952 Uskmouth No.1 running alongside visiting guest locomotives and others from the home fleet.
Uskmouth No.1 was supplied new to the Central Electricity Generating for its Uskmouth power station, also known as Fifoots Point power station, at the mouth of the River Usk. It moved to the DFR in April 1972.
The first big event of the new season will, as reported last issue, be the April 23/24 DMU gala marking 30 years since the formation of the Dean Forest DMU group, which brought its first vehicles to the railway in April 1992.
It will feature Derby lightweight ‘bubblecar’ No. 79900 Iris, visiting from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
A dedicated diesel gala with visiting locomotives yet to be announced will take place on September 17/18.
Throughout the year, in addition to the regular steam services on weekends and Wednesdays running from March 19 until November 6, many evening specials include dining trains and fish and chip suppers, as well as the popular murder mystery evenings, where luxurious meals are served on board. These murder mysteries are running on Saturday, May 21, and Saturday, August 6, with the May event already almost sold out. The railway is also bringing back its Sunday lunch trains, running approximately one each month throughout the year.
Also running in 2022 will be brake van specials, operating at least once a month throughout the main season. Spaces are limited, so pre-booking is highly recommended.
Returning after a long absence will be the Halloween trains on the evenings of October 29/30, and Santa specials will begin on November 26/27, running on weekends throughout December and in the runup to Christmas Day.