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 up until recent memory – and in some cases, continue to do so!

The event will take place from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd June.


The Gala Committee is currently confirming guest locomotives, and they will be listed once confirmed.


228 Type 1 diesel-electric diesel locomotives were produced and 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out of service at Toton Depot in September 1989 only to be returned to traffic in November 1989 before being finally withdrawn in 1990.

A private consortium of KWVR members purchased the engine 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 fame on the small screen, masquerading as Class 40 D326, in the BBC drama ‘The Great Train Robbery.

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 small 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. D2511 has worked two coach passenger trains at special events, limited to two coaches, as it cannot maintain line speed with 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 is a most useful engine for the line. As the line has a 25 mph maximum speed limit, many 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 appropriate to its life on the national network. However, whatever the colour scheme, D0226 is arguably the most reliable and useful engine on the 5-mile branch line.

The docks estates at Liverpool and Birkenhead were for many years controlled by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board which operated a fleet of steam locomotives for shunting the sidings and transferring wagons between sites. In hazardous areas of the docks (i.e. oil terminals) the Docks Board owned and operated several fireless locomotives to prevent sparks from causing fires. During the Second World War, however, one of these fireless locomotives was destroyed by enemy action.

To replace this engine, the Harbour Board approached the Hunslet Engine Co., Leeds, which resulted in the purchase of a Diesel Mechanical Diesel Shunter. This was works number 2699 and on delivery became Mersey Docks & Harbour Board Fleet No. 32. The engine was named “Huskisson” in memory of the eminent Liverpool politician who died on the opening day of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

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 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 aging machines, a work-worn 32 was finally withdrawn and the long process of overhaul was begun by its owner. At the diesel gala in June 2014, 32’s long journey back to health was completed and the locomotive was able to take its place in the line-up for the weekend and has since seen occasional passenger use on two coach Keighley – Ingrow shuttles at diesel galas and special events.

shed tours

Across the Gala weekend, you will 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 always remain together.

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 services from Keighley, meeting inside at the Booking Hall, Haworth.


Locomotive allocations & working timetables, a booklet will be available on the day when collecting your tickets.
No need to print before!


10% Discount online if purchasing three or more days in advance.

The best ticket for your visit will be our Four Rover, which gives you all-day travel across the gala weekend and entry into the Museums at Ingrow West. 1 & 2 Day tickets will also be available. Full-line returns and other ticket types are available from the booking offices on the day.

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 purchasing three 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.