18/09/2008 – 22/09/2008 Wensleydale Railway

A new line for A1A ! We had a request some time ago for 31108 to attend this railway for their inaugural Diesel Gala , however problems with various TOC’s who had been provisionally contracted to bring in our loco and some coaches meant the event was almost cancelled. EWS thankfully stepped in at the final hour and saved the event by providing 60040 for the gala and moving 31108 from Swanwick to Leeming Bar and back. Five immaculate EWS MK2 coaches were also provided for the weekend.

The journey to Leeming Bar started on Weds 17th Sept when 67027 hauled 31108 from Swanwick to Toton. From here , 31108 was moved in the consist of a north bound freight hauled by 60012 to Doncaster Belmont Yard where the night was spent. The next morning 60040 hauled 31108 and 5 coaches to Leeming Bar , arriving there at lunchtime .

The next day (Fri 19th Sept) saw 31108 rostered to haul a DMU on 3 round trips of the line however on the morning upon attempting to start , one of the battery cells blew. Unfortunately by the time we had located the offending cell and changed it we missed the first working by 15 mins which was covered by 47715. The other 2 round trips as well as the trips at the gala over the next 2 days (Sat 20th / Sun 21st Sept) were worked without fault.

This is a superb railway with a 17 mile line which runs through North Yorkshire from Leeming Bar to Redmire with gorgeous scenery throughout. The line is actually owned by Network Rail and leased to the Wensleydale Railway Co. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were proud to be taking part in their first event of this nature. We would certainly like to return with another one of our locos at somepoint ! ……31271 ? !

Thanks to everyone at the WR for making us very welcome and to EWS for largely making it happen !

On the Monday morning , 60040 returned 31108 and the coaches to Doncaster and 31108 was then moved back to Toton and onwards to Butterley a few days later.

Almost there, 60040 / 31108 pause at Northallerton on 6Z50 from Doncaster to Leeming Bar.18/09/08 photo W Coppack

During the DMU drag day , 31108 stands at Redmire waiting to depart for Leeming Bar..19/09/08 photo D Firth

During the booked stop at Leyburn…………19/09/08 photo D Firth

Awaiting departure time , 31108 stands next to 60040 at Leeming Bar with a Redmire service at the Gala..21/09/08

Now at the other end of the line at Redmire , 31108 waits to leave for Leeming Bar..21/09/08