Two-day celebration at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway announced

Photo: Mark Fielding

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is planning a special two-day gala to mark the 60th anniversary of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society.

Tickets are now on sale for the COVID-safe event, which will take place at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway on July 10/11.

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Entitled ‘It’s Still A Lot Of Fun’, the event will feature a range of nine steam and diesel locomotives owned by both the Preservation Society and the railway itself.

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That includes the beautifully restored 125-year old Katie and River Irt, which is the oldest working 15-inch gauge locomotive in the world. 

Also featuring will the River Mite, which is one of the milestone achievements of the last 60 years and has recently returned to use following an extensive overhaul funded by its owners at the Preservation Society.

Photo: David Mart

They will be joined by static displays of Little Giant and the well-known Synolda, which isan identical sister to the first 15-inch gauge locomotive Sans Pareil to run on Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway more than 100 years ago.  At the same time, two full-size traction engines are expected to be in steam at Ravenglass.

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Passengers will have the chance to buy tickets for three round-trips of the scenic route between Ravenglass and Dalegarth – effectively reserving a seat which is theirs to keep for the whole day. All of the available engines will then haul the train at some point during the day.

Meanwhile, the free to enter Ravenglass Railway Museum will be a focal point for a planned model railway display. It’s also a chance to see the Preservation Society’s special exhibition marking ‘The Society at 60’, which tells the fascinating story of the ongoing support it has given to this iconic Lake District railway line.

Stuart Ross, General Manager at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, said: “The railway has captured the hearts of so many people over the years and this is a chance for families, railway enthusiasts and local history buffs alike not only to see these fantastic locomotives, but to relive the heyday of steam travel for themselves.

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“After more than a year of lockdowns and disruptions to everyone’s lives, there’s no better time to escape the everyday to experience panoramic views of the Cumbrian coastline and dramatic mountain scenery on one of these magnificent locomotives. Normally at a gala weekend enthusiasts plan which trains to ride to ensure they travel behind certain engines. At this gala the enthusiast will have a seat for the day and the engines will come to them. Very relaxing indeed!”

Passengers can book tickets online for the 60th Anniversary Gala now.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...