Severn Valley Diesel Gala 4th – 6th October 2018
The SVR held their diesel gala between 4th – 6th Ocotber and two SRC members – David Hughes and James Windows – were there to record it. Here is what they saw:
First, David Hughes:
An unusual gala was held at the Severn Valley Railway between 4 & 6th October 2018. This was to celebrate 50 years of the Class 50 locomotives, and 11 of the 18 survivors were to be in service. Built by English Electric in 1968, there were 50 in the class, numbered D400 to D449. These were later renumbered to 50001 to 50050. They were built at the end of steam in 1968 and first appeared on the West Coast Main Line and worked north of Crewe to Glasgow whilst the electrification of the route was being built and opened in 1974. They later went to the Western Region where they operated until 1994. They carried a variety of liveries throughout their active service, including a special repaint of 50007 Hercules in a GWR like Brunswick green and renamed Sir Edward Elgar . Others appeared in Network South East colours, Intercity livery , freight grey, rail blue. So lots of variations to entertain the gala visitors! The event was well attended and I don’t think we will see a similar collection all in once place for a while yet.
Second, James Windows:
Photo 1 – With the single line token about to be handed over to Bewdley North signalman class 50 No.50007 Hercules rolls across Bewdley Viaduct on the approach to the station while working the 14.40 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service on 6th October 2018.
Photo 2 – 50008 Thunderer approaches Bewdley at Northwood Lane with the 10.40 demonstration ballast freight service from Highley to Kidderminster on the 6th October. This Loco still sees use on the mainline with one of the smaller loco companies working non passenger trains but only has air braking capabilities and all the SVR coaching stock is vacuum braked so had to be used on working a demonstration ballast train consisting of air Braked Seacow and Dogfish ballast wagons, A throwback to the days when they worked loaded ballast trains from Meldon Quarry near Okehampton
Photo 3 – Visiting from the East Lancs Railway large logo livery 50015 Valiant departs Bewdley and has just crossed the foot crossing on Northwood Lane as it accelerates away while working the 10.40 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service on the 6th October 2018
Photo 4 – Another mainline operated loco NSE liveried 50017 Royal Oak arrives at Highley with the 09.45 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service on the 5th.
Photo 5 – NSE livery 50026 Indomitable stands at the buffer stop at Kidderminster as a none runner on the 5th October. Unfortunately this loco was the only loco on site that was unable to haul train at the gala as engine repairs could not be carried out in time.
Photo 6 – Carrying Inter City livery, a livery never used by the class while in BR service, class 50 No.50031 Hood departs Bewdley With the 13.50 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster train on 6th October 2018.
Photo 7 – Star attraction of the gala was 50033 Glorious which worked its first trains in 14 years having arrived at the SVR earlier in the year for refurbishment. Here 50033 Glorious arrives at Bridgnorth with the first train of the day the 08.30 from Kidderminster on the 5th October.
Photo 8 – 50035 Ark Royal draws into Arley with the 13.15 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service on the 5th October.
Photo 9 – 50044 Exeter in original blue livery departs Bewdley with the 14.50 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster train on the 5th October.
Photo 10 – Large Logo livery 50049 Defiance arrives at Highley with the 10.50 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service on the 5th October.
Photo 11 – Under the watchful eye of a member of the station staff first built class 50 No.50050 (D400) Fearless arrives at Bewdley with the 11.20 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service on the 6th October.
Photo 12 – Standing in for the nonappearance of 50033 Glorious on the first departure from Bridgnorth on 6th October was class 40 No.40106 which is seen after arriving at its destination of Kidderminster. Personally for myself this loco was the star performer of the day having just had an excellent run down from Bridgnorth behind it. With plenty of noise and slipping on the wet greasy rails.
Photo 13 – 50008 Thunderer waits at Highley with a ballast train for Kidderminster while 50015 Valiant arrives with the 11.20 Bridgnorth to Kiddderminster service on the 5th October. These two locos were often seen together in the late 1980s as they were regularly used as the railtour pair. See later photo.
Photo 14 – A break from travelling behind the class 50s saw us take a walk from Arley along the river to Victoria bridge to photograph a number of trains crossing the structure, here NSE livery 50017 Royal Oak slowly cross Victoria Bridge just after departing Arley with the 12.20 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service on the 5th October.
Photo 15 – A shot that could almost be Paddington or Waterloo buffer stops if you ignore the background, 50049 and 50026 stand side by side at the buffer stops in Kidderminster station on the 6th October.
Photo 16 – Class 50 No.50033 Glorious rests at Kidderminster after arriving with the 11.14 local train from Bewdley on the 6th October.
Photo 17 – Class 50 No.50033 Glorious rests at Kidderminster after arriving with the 11.14 local train from Bewdley on the 6th October during the class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala. The graffiti on the undercoat paint was applied by visitors for a donation to raise the money for a repaint .
Photo 18 – Seen in happy times While hauling Pathfinder’s The Hoove-Ring Druid railtour Class 50 No’s. 50033 ‘Glorious’ and 50050 ‘Fearless’ pose in the sun at a photo stop at Chepstow on 4th April 1992. The tour organised in the run up to the final withdrawal of the Class 50’s ran from Manchester Piccadilly to several South Wales branches including Pontycymmer and Ebbw Vale with the Class 50’s working to and from Derby.
Photo 19 – The original Railtour pair 50015 in Dutch livery and 50008 in engineers blue livery similar to the one it still carries today wait in Goodrington carriage sidings near Paignton with the stock of the Pathfinder Tours
The Valiant Thunderer railtour from Manchester to Paignton and Newquay which the 50s took over at Bristol Temple Meads. 50033 Glorious assisted on the Newquay branch as there were no run round facilities there and then the other pair on the front of the train at Plymouth to triple head back to Bristol.
Photo 20 – 50007 is probably best known for its time carrying GWR green livery and carrying the name Sir Edward Elgar which it received in 1984 in readiness for the GWR 150 event, here the loco waits to depart Exeter St Davids with the 09.28 to London Waterloo on the 30th July 1989. .
A further selection of photos from the gala can be seen om my Flickr account here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmtHPo7e
A further selection of class 50 photos from the late 1980/90s can be viewed here on my Flickr account here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskKusQzo