Railway Volunteers Chuffed At Gala Success
8:48am 31st May 2013
Elated Swanage Railway volunteers are celebrating after this year's Diesel Gala event carried 3,096 passengers on trains hauled by historic 1960s main line diesel locomotives - up 5.7 per cent and equivalent to twice the population of Corfe Castle village.
Enthusiasts from across the country flocked to the annual event - and its associated Dorset Beer Festival - which ran from Thursday, 9 May, to Sunday, 12 May, 2013, and saw eight classic visiting main line diesel locomotives in action along with three resident Swanage Railway locomotives.
The Thursday saw a nostalgic Push-Pull Day, sponsored by SouthWest Trains, return the Isle of Purbeck to the 'Swinging 1960s' and the 'Summer of Love' - marking the 25th anniversary of the end of 1967 'push-pull' slam door trains between Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth during the summer of 1988.
Passengers had the nostalgic chance to ride in a four-coach 1967 British Rail Southern Region VEP class electric multiple unit operated in 'push-pull' mode with Class 33 diesel locomotives No. 33 111 and No. 33 108 which spent many years hauling trains between Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.
Eleven locomotives hauled an intensive train service from Norden Park & Ride to Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Swanage between 8am and 12 midnight on the Friday and Saturday and from 8am to 7pm on the Sunday.