21st July 2002
GCR(N) Diesel Gala 2002"

What with doing an overnight railtour to Scotland on the Friday and Saturday the prospect of spending Sunday out on the bash too didn't fill me with excitement. Thus, whilst I needed Harry Needle's 73141 and all the track between Ruddington and Rushcliffe Halt, I originally wasn't intending to come along to this gala.

Then my (company) car failed its MOT on the Friday and I became dependant on a lift to/from the railtour. It so happened my lift was heading home via a mutual friends on Saturday night and the GCR(N) so it came to pass that I did attend! With the appearance of required 45112 from Fragonset I was pleased to say the least that things worked out as they did!

Here are some photos taken on the day.

What can I say? My first visit to this railway and I was most impressed with the days events. Four of us arrived at Ruddington in time for the 09.00 departure which scooped 73141 for me. 44004 "Great Gable" was leading out of Ruddington itself but the train only goes as far as 50 Steps Bridge where it reverses and 73141 took over as lead engine.

The days first run was only to Rushcliffe Halt and back, subsequent runs going through to Loughborough (i.e. almost to the junction with the Midland Mainline).

In the event some re-jigging of the timetable allowed some extra runs to be made between Rushcliffe Halt and Loughborough so that kept those of us on board quite happy (as did the beer tent in the brake van!).

In action on the day were 73141, 44004, D7629 & 45112 "Royal Army Ordnance Corps" in various top-and-tail combinations. All locos were sampled, the clear winner for thrash being D7629 - very loud indeed!

The last trains of the day were headed by 44004 + 45112 on one end and D7629 + 73141 on the other, though the ED suffered brake problems and was removed at Rushcliffe Halt. We were already about to call it a day at that stage and caught the DMU back to Ruddington anyway so that didn't really have too much effect on us.

Verdict : A winning day out, future galas are well recommended if they prove to be anything like this one!

Gary Thornton.

Back to "Diesel Galas"