We welcomed back one of our long-awaited events, the Diesel Gala, from 14-16 June and following the three-day celebration of diesel locomotives, we're pleased to report that the event was a huge success.

Over 3,000 passengers joined the event, travelling over 1,000 miles on diesel hauled services and for those that couldn’t attend, there were 5,000+ hours watch-time accrued on the NYMR webcams during the gala.


No. 37418 courtesy Tim Bruce

Guest locomotives, No. 37418 ‘An Comunn Gaidhealach’ courtesy of Loram and Steven Beniston, No. 45108 courtesy of the East Lancashire Railway, D9537 courtesy of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, and BR Class 20s, No. 20189 and No. 20142 - both courtesy of Class 20189 Ltd - were part of the special extensive timetable. The heritage railway’s home fleet of diesel workhorses included No. 37264, D7628 ‘Sybilla’, No. 31128, No. 47077, and No. 31466

A visitor survey carried out after the event highlighted some fantastic feedback including comments such as: 

"Awesome Diesel engines."

"Great diesel locos."

"Another great day out. Well organised Diesel Gala."

"Friendly, professional, enjoyable."

"Cannot think of anything that could have been improved, it was a special event weekend, visited on the Saturday and travelled on the train, Sunday visited the engine sheds, on the non-event days we have visited we have always had a lovely visit."

Nick Simpson, Head of Mechanical Engineering at the NYMR, said, “From a Shed perspective, it went really well. We had lots of support from the owning groups, NYMR staff, and volunteers. Team Diesel did exceptionally well, with almost all services running on time and no major locomotive issues. The volunteer locomotive cleaners went above and beyond to present the locomotives so splendidly, despite the rain showers we had. The planning team also did a fantastic job, starting to organise the event in late October. It was a great Diesel Gala re-introduction event, and we are looking forward to building on it for the future.”

Courtesy Peter Dawson
Beth Kennerley, Volunteer Driver at the NYMR said, “It was a real treat to be rostered for the Diesel Gala. The atmosphere with crews and the passengers was so much fun. It was a real reminder of why we all get involved with and support the heritage rail movement.” Matt Bell, Operations Manager at the NYMR, said, “I’m so proud of everyone involved in the Diesel Gala this weekend. With a jam-packed timetable of trains running efficiently, we delivered everything we planned to do. A lot of time and effort has gone into the planning and delivery of this event by the whole team and we put on a very good show.

D9537 courtesy Richard Crawford
David Slack, Volunteer Driver at the NYMR, said, “Well done to all involved! This has shown yet again what a wonderful railway we have and what amazing people make up the NYMR family. When we all pull and work together the results are truly outstanding!”

To find out more about the NYMR and book tickets visit www.nymr.co.uk/book-tickets

Main image courtesy Peter Dawson.