The Industrial Railway Society and the Narrow Gauge Railway Society are jointly planning a visit to the Narrow Gauge Gala at the Midland Railway Trust (Golden Valley Railway) on 28th May. It is hoped that everything will be dragged out of the normally locked containers for viewing on that day only. Orenstein & Koppel 7529 (placed in service in the UK for the first time in 2021) will haul the normal scheduled passenger services. Coaching stock will be weather dependant, but the consist will definitely include the restored Ashover coach No. 4 (the Clay Cross bowling green one) and an ex colliery manrider adapted to take one wheelchair. In the interval between each passenger train, a diesel/battery electric hauled freight train will work between Butterley Park and Brands sidings. The running shed will be open for viewing by guided tours, and, subject to availability of sufficient staff, it may be possible to have a go at driving a light engine in the yard. Locos available for working the freight trains will include two Listers, Motor Rail 60S364, Simplex 40SD529, Baguley Drewry 3753, Hunslet 7009 and Simplex 102T020. It is hoped that there will be access to the standard gauge workshop area, although unfortunately the main exhibition hall remains closed at present, because of the condition of the roof and floor. Other interesting areas at Swanwick Junction include the Historic Carriage & Wagon department, stationary power, road transport, the National Fork Truck Heritage Centre, the Butterley Park Miniature Railway (3½ & 5” gauge), the country park, and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust’s HQ, with the 21” gauge ex Butlins Princess class outline Hudswell Clarke diesels and, new for 2022, GEORGINA, the Sipat class Bagnall replica ex Scarborough North Bay Rly which has been regauged, and is hoped will be in steam on the Saturday, although staff availabilty is still to be confirmed. Although this is an Open Day accessible to all, the block booking by the IRS and the NGRS offers discounted prices. The Gift Aided fare is available to UK tax payers and in addition to the train rides provides vouchers that can be exchanged in the shop for goods or refreshments.
This visit can be booked by non-IRS members at no extra charge. Tickets for the Midland Railway Trust event must be booked by 16th May and will be non-refundable after that date, unless the event is cancelled. The Heritage Shunters Trust tickets must be booked by 21st May and will be non-refundable after that date.
(The IRS had also originally arranged an afternoon visit on the same day to the Heritage Shunters Trust but that has now been deferred until 18th June, as part of a wider tour of the Rowsley area).