April offers wide heritage modern traction variety
THE 2022 heritage railway operating seasons are beginning again after the winter, with plenty of events and running days planned around the country to cater for heritage modern traction enthusiasts.
The Strathspey Railway diesel event on March 19/20 should feature NBL 0-4-0 D2774, 08490, D5394, D5862 and 37674. The Saturday of the event should include the visit of an SRPS charter train from Linlithgow, featuring main line-registered 37403 Isle of Mull.
The Deltic running day on the Great Central Railway (GCR) planned for April 1, using 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier, has been moved forward a week to March 25 due to engineering works being carried out on the railway.
The day will feature six round trips of the line, offering a total of 96 miles of haulage behind 55019. This will be its last workings on the GCR for the time being, as it departs to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) for a two-month visit starting with the EVR’S April diesel event.
The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway is holding a diesel event from April 1-3, featuring the delayed visit of 31128 from Nemesis Rail and 50008 Thunderer, courtesy of Hanson and Hall. The visiting locomotives will join the home fleet of 97205 and 37227 for the weekend.
The aforementioned EVR diesel event takes place over the weekend of April 22-24, which sees Deltic 55019 joining the EVR’S fleet of D9537 Eric, 31601 Devon Diesel Society and D1842. The Dean Forest Railway holds its DMU event on April 23-24 featuring its operational DMU fleet, with Derby Lightweight DMU Iris visiting the line from its usual home on the EVR.
The same weekend sees the Epping and Ongar Railway hold its first diesel gala of the year, featuring 03170, 31438, D6729 and 47635 Jimmy Milne. The Class 20 Locomotive Society’s D8001 was also due to take part but it had to be withdrawn after suffering damage during testing in January. The GCR diesel event takes place from April 29 to May 1 and is expected to feature D8098, D5185, 37714 Cardiff Canton, and D123 Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry, the line’s two DMUS, and also guest locomotives that had not been announced as this issue of Railways Illustrated closed for press.
April also sees the regular diesel diagrams begin to operate at most of our heritage lines, although the East Lancashire Railway started running its diesel fleet early, with trains in February and March booked to be hauled by electric heat locomotives.
The Wensleydale Railway has confirmed that diesel-hauled trains will operate on the first Sunday of each month, starting from April 3.
Diesel running is also returning to the Llangollen Railway on April 16/17 and April 23/24, although which locomotives will work what days has yet to be finalised.
It has also been confirmed that Llangollen plans to hold a diesel event on September 3/4, with a guest locomotive hopefully joining D5310, 31271 Stratford 1840-2001 and 1566.
The Severn Valley Railway diesel turns start again in April with the usual two round trips on offer each day, although no roster has yet been announced.
At the EVR, April 12, 19 and 26 will feature midweek diesel-hauled trains, with three round trips available from Wirksworth.
Additional running days featuring 55019 will take place on three weekends in May (7/8, 14/15 and 21/22), as well as the Platinum Jubilee Weekend from June 2-5, along with Tuesdays on June 14 and 28.