Diesel Gala

The Return of the Diesels!

Many visitors won’t remember steam traction, so the Diesel Gala brings back memories of these heritage machines that worked right from the end of steam right up until recent memory – and in some cases continue to do so!

The event will take place from Friday 10th June through to Sunday 12th June.


The British Rail Class 33 Locomotive was ordered in 1957 and built between 1960 and 1962 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company. A total of ninety-eight were constructed. The locomotive was also known as the BRCW Type 3 and was built exclusively for the Southern region. They quickly picked up the nickname “Cromptons” because of the Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment installed in them.

33012 was originally added as D6515 to British Railways stock in June 1960 at its first depot, 73C Hither Green. Renumbering took place in January 1974. 33012 was withdrawn in February 1997, surplus to requirements and saw a few months of use as Eastleigh Depot pilot until finally switched off with a number of electrical faults.

Repairs to the electrical systems were undertaken gradually and the loco moved under its own power in October 1999, taking its first loaded test run at Swanage. The Bodywork repairs commenced promptly, although the loco appeared in red primer at the Swanage Railway Diesel Day! 33012 received the name ‘Stan Symes’ in November 1999, after the Bournemouth and Swanage Driver; who had achieved 60 years on the footplate.

During Spring 2002, routine oil samples showed signs of the cylinder liners leaking coolant into the engine sump. The engine was completely stripped and re-assembled with new seals during the autumn. Test runs were completed in time for the annual Diesel Day in November.

Since then 33012 has provided reliable service and has also had the bodywork overhauled which took place in late 2006. In 2008 the committee voted to allow 33012 to travel to Knights Rail at Eastleigh Works for a general overhaul including generators and running gear. The loco moved to Eastleigh on the 14th of January 2009 and stayed for two and a half years during which time it was equipped with TPWS and OTMR allowing the loco to work on the national network.

33012 underwent a successful mainline test run on May 5th 2011 and has been based at the Swanage Railway since then. It was re-named ‘Lt Jenny Lewis’ in June 2014.

Prior to the Diesel Gala weekend, 33012 will arrive via the mainline, and join the KWVR at Keighley!

Courtesy of 71A Locomotive Group

Photo: Ian Dixon

The British Rail Class 33 Locomotive was ordered in 1957 and built between 1960 and 1962 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company. A total of ninety-eight were constructed. The locomotive was also known as the BRCW Type 3 and was built exclusively for the Southern region. They quickly picked up the nickname “Cromptons” because of the Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment installed in them.

33202 was originally added as D6578 to British Railways stock in Feb 1962 at its first depot, 73C Hither Green. Renumbering took place in December 1973.

Direct Rail Services have agreed to support the Diesel Gala for 2022, and we have requested a Class 68. This will be the first time a Class 68 will run on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, the loco will arrive at Keighley Station via the mainline too!

Class 68 is a mixed traffic diesel-electric locomotive manufactured by Stadler Rail for Direct Rail Services.

It has a maximum speed of 100mph and produces 3,800hp from its 16-cylinder diesel engine. Their modern diesel engine gives amongst the lowest emissions of any diesel locomotive in operation. They also offer a stop-start system to reduce emissions and increase efficiency.

Fifty English Electric Type 4 (later BR Class 50) diesel locomotives were built by English Electric at their Vulcan Foundry Works plant in Newton-le-Willows between 1967 and 1968. When built they were numbered in the D4xx series. They later became BR’s Class 50, being allocated TOPS numbers in the 50xxx series. The class was nicknamed “Hoovers” because of the distinctive sound of the inertial air filters with which the locomotives were originally fitted.

Initially, the locomotives were used to haul express passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between Crewe and Scotland; that section was not then being electrified. This often entailed ‘Multiple Working’, with two locomotives under the control of a single driver.

By 1974 the northern WCML had been electrified, and the Class 50 fleet was being transferred to BR’s Western Region to work mainline passenger services out of London Paddington.

The Class 50’s did not originally carry names, but in the late 1970s, BR agreed to their being named after Royal Navy vessels with notable records in the First and Second World Wars. Withdrawal of the class began in the early 1990s.

50026’s survival is somewhat remarkable as the locomotive is the only one of the Class 50s surviving today that managed to escape from the scrapyard. It languished in the yard of C F Booth in Rotherham, one of several locomotives sent there in 1992. These locomotives were part of an ultimately unsuccessful project by ‘Operation Collingwood’. The current owner, Paul Spracklen, purchased the locomotive together with missing parts salvaged from other project locomotives that went for scrap.

​Initially, 50026 was moved by rail from Rotherham to the Mid Hants Railway (1993), before the owner sought a new home where much of the restoration was carried out undercover at the MoD base at Bicester in Oxfordshire (1993). A thorough restoration project spanning two decades transformed the loco into ex-works, a large logo condition. After Bicester, further work was carried out at Old Oak common (2007), the workshops of RVEL in Derby and Eastleigh Works. A return to traffic came at the Swanage Railway on May 11, 2012. The loco wears the revised Network South East dark blue livery and sports navy-blue nameplates in a nod to long-departed classmate 50032 Courageous, the only 50 to be so treated.

Freightliner have agreed to support the Diesel Gala for 2022, and we have requested a Class 70. The loco will arrive at Keighley Station via the mainline and will be running on Sunday only!

The Class 70 is one of the most distinctive UK diesel locomotive designs of all time, thanks to its US origins and safety features.

Developed jointly by Freightliner Ltd and General Electric, the Class 70 was built specifically as a heavy freight locomotive for Freightliner operations in the UK. Built by General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania, it has a 3,690-horsepower diesel engine, though is still able to meet European Union regulations for diesel engine emissions. However, the Class 70’s most distinctive feature must be its exterior cab design which is immediately recognizable. This is a result of built-in crash protection to protect train crews in the event of a collision, and in fact, the entire cab was designed with considerable input from freight train drivers.


Locomotive Allocations & Working Timetable

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Standard Passenger Timetable

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228 Type 1 diesel electric diesel locomotives were produced, introduced in 1957, examples of the class, 63 years after the first manufacture, can still be seen across the network, usually working as pairs.

The engine spent time at several sheds in England; Nottingham, Stratford (London), York, Gateshead, lmmingham, Tinsley (Sheffield), lmmingham and Toton.20 031 first came out of service at Toton Depot in September 1989 only to be returned to traffic in November 1989 before being finally withdrawn in 1990.

The engine was purchased by a private consortium of KWVR members for use on the Worth Valley branch and the engine arrived at Haworth in August 1992. Since its arrival 20 031 has been usefully employed, hauling early morning services and assisting the Civil Department in their duties.

Introduced in 1959, Class 37 (British Railways Type 3) has outlasted almost all the other classes of mainline locomotives introduced as part of the BR modernisation plan of 1955.

During its ‘national service’ life, 37 075 was allocated to nine different locations but as some were visited on more than one occasion, the total number of moves was 13. And that nomadic life continued into preservation with Haworth being its fifth location.

Arriving on the KWVR in 2012, 37 075 was purchased by a consortium of KWVR volunteers and moved to Haworth. The largest Diesel Locomotive on the railway also found on fame on the small screen, masquerading as Class 40 D326, in the BBC drama ‘The Great Train Robbery.

No. 32 was bought to replace a fireless locomotive destroyed in a German bombing raid. For 26 years the engine plied its trade around the dockyards of Liverpool, handling freight in and out of the docks’ railway system.

The locomotive was purchased by a private member of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (Mr Ben Wade) and arrived on the Worth Valley under its own power in January 1971. It initially saw much useful service on the Railway, primarily acting as a shunter in one of the Railway’s yards and saw occasional use on the main branch line on works trains and hauling short passenger services during special events.

However, like all ageing machines, a work-worn 32 was finally withdrawn and the long process of the overhaul was begun by its owner. By June 2014, 32’s long journey back to health was completed and the locomotive was able to return to service.

Evaluated in the 1960s by British Railways, D2511 was quickly sold out of service as being considered unsuitable, as the nature of the national network changed.

After a working life of only 16 years, the diminutive shunter was purchased by members of the KWVR and arrived here in August 1977. After two years of restoration, including rebuilding the cab and refurbishing the axle boxes, bearings, transmission and wheel tyres, it entered KWVR service in 1980.

The engine has found service primarily shunting the yards around the Railway and occasional works-train duties. At special events, D2511 has worked two coach passenger trains, limited to two coaches as it does not have the ability to maintain line speed with any more than a two coach load.

D2511 can usually be found at Oxenhope as the yard shunter there.

Not all prototypes were submitted for consideration for mass production as British Railways looked to modernise in 1955. Many fell by the wayside and were unceremoniously sent for scrap after a short life.

The engine was placed on permanent loan to the KWVR by English Electric in 1966 and has been found to be a most useful engine for the line. As the line has a 25 mph maximum speed limit, many of the limitations found in the British Railways service are eliminated. The 500 hp power rating means it can deal with our works-trains at a speed that does not hamper passenger services working in the opposite path. The engine is capable of standing in on passenger services in the event of a steam engine failing in traffic. All in all, this engine has found a niche in preservation that it never found before.

In 2014 D0226 had its greatest passenger triumph when it was one of the two diesel locomotives used to haul the downhill leg of the intensive two train operation that brought spectators to the Worth Valley during the Tour de France in July of that year.

In 54 years of operation on the KWVR, D0226 has sported many varied and striking liveries but currently sports one that is appropriate to its life on the national network. However, whatever the colour scheme, D0226 is arguable the most reliable and useful engine on the 5-mile branch line.

**Subject to availability**

The roots of Class 08 can be traced back to LMS and it is quite staggering that the development of a class of locomotive dating back to 1945 is still operational in numbers across today’s railway network and in preservation 75 years later.

Even the smallest of steam locomotives need time to warm through and build up steam so it wasn’t a surprise that preserved railways all over the country soon realised that it was essential to have an engine on tap, to undertake tasks, without the long process of raising steam.

The KWVR was no exception and took delivery of its first Class 08 shunter in 1981 and the second following in 2015.

D3336 / 08 266

After No. 08 226 was withdrawn on 17th March 1985, it was sent to Swindon from where the KWVR rescued it from the scrap line at the end of that year. The engine has found useful work, predominantly shunting the heavy steam locomotives around Haworth Yard and occasionally undertaking works-train duties. On rare occasions (usually special events), hauling passenger services on the line has been seen. These are usually shuttle services between Keighley and lngrow or full line trips after the last scheduled train has finished. Its use in passenger services is very limited due to its low maximum speed of 15 mph.

By 2015, now 68 years old, having worked hard on the KWVR, 08 226 was showing its age and an assessment showed that extensive work would be required to keep. With a plentiful supply of replacement locomotives still on the national network, the decision was made to replace the engine with one being retired by EWS.

However, 08 226 was reprieved and remains in the KWVR fleet alongside its newer 08 companions. In 2016, with the arrival of 08 993, and the paintwork showing years of hard work on the Railway, the opportunity was taken to repaint the now reprieved engine into the two-tone grey livery.


The best ticket for your visit will be our Three Day Rover, as this gives you all-day travel across the gala weekend and entry into the Museums at Ingrow West. 1 and 2 Day tickets will also be available.

Return tickets will be available for the full length of the line.

10% Discount online if purchased 3 or more days in advance.

ROVER TICKETSAll 3 DaysAny 2 Days1 Day
Child (5 – 15)£42.00£29.00£16.50
Small Family (1 Adult & 1 Child)£105.00£72.50£41.25
Member or Local Resident Card Adult£67.00£46.00£26.00
Member or Local Resident Card Concession£56.50£39.00£22.00
Member or Local Resident Card Child£33.50£23.00£13.00
Child (5 – 15)£8.25
Member or Local Resident Card Adult£13.20
Member or Local Resident Card Concession£11.85
Member or Local Resident Card Child£6.60

Please note that this gala will not have reserved seating whether you buy online or on the day (except for coach parties).  All customers will need to choose their seat once they have boarded the train, or speak to staff if you have any queries.

Standard Booking Ts & Cs apply.

  • Members’ Free tickets are withdrawn.
  • Heritage Railway Association passes and free travel for reciprocal organisations cannot be used as normal – Member priced tickets are charged.
  • 10% Discount online if purchased 3 or more days in advance.
  • Local Residents Railcards discount is amended – the member price is charged.
  • Break of Journey on Single / Return tickets is not permitted, except that Full Line Return ticket holders may only break their journey at Haworth.
  • Carer / Wheelchair user discounts are available as normal.
  • Other promotions/discounts are not available.
  • Complimentary ticket vouchers are not valid unless they are printed as being issued for the gala itself.

Across the Gala weekend, you will be able to encounter the excitement and nostalgia of the Locomotive works, with its exclusive sounds and smells, get up close to our fleet of Steam and Diesel locomotives with knowledgeable commentary from your experienced guide.

The tour involves walking on uneven and slippery surfaces and includes steps. For this reason, it is not suitable for those with mobility problems. Regretfully open-toed shoes are not permitted.  Access to the sheds is only permitted for authorised groups who must remain together at all times.

Please be aware that this is both a hazardous and a working environment, Children under 16, therefore, MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult. Due to yard restrictions and operating requirements, tours may have to be curtailed or cancelled without notice.

Haworth Shed Tours will begin shortly after the arrival of each service from Keighley, meeting inside at the Booking Hall, Haworth.

There is no booking required. 

The Carriage Works is home to one of the country’s finest collections of restored railway carriages.  As you walk around the museum you can see carriages dating from 1876 to 1950 highlighting the changes in travel over the years. The oldest carriages show the luxury that First Class passengers could enjoy throughout the Victorian era. The museum is also home to Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST No. 402, built-in 1893, known as Lord Mayor which is the smallest engine based at the Keighley Worth Valley Railway. This is the engine used in the publicity for the 1970 film The Railway Children filmed on the Keighley Worth Railway.

Not only is there a fine selection of carriages the museum is also home to a workshop where you can view the volunteers repairing the vintage carriages. There is also a Magazine Room, the most magnificent collection of historical railway magazines. You can simply browse the collection or for the enthusiasts, most are also for sale if you want to take home a real piece of history.

The Vintage Carrist Trust Museum ‘The Carriage Works’ will be open across all three days of the Diesel Gala, and will also have a large selection of second-hand diesel books on sale especially for the event, all at bargain prices! 

Across the Gala Weekend, the Bachmann Collectors Club will be with us. They will be displaying & discussing their Summer British Railway Announcements and the range of collectors club models.

The Bachmann Collectors Club is the official club for Bachmann enthusiasts, with members in the UK and overseas. They cater for all ages and modelling abilities, from the young beginner to the experienced modeller. For over fifteen years, they have been providing Bachmann enthusiasts with all the latest information on releases, product development and exclusive limited edition products.

The Bachmann Collectors Club produces limited edition locomotives and rolling stock in OO and N scale, available for club members to purchase only.

Railway Club for Everyone is a general railway club for railway enthusiasts, where members enjoy discounts at railway-themed businesses and railways. Rail Riders will have a display stand on Keighley Station Platform!