East Lancs Railway (ELR) Diesel Gala July 8th & 9th 2016
The East Lancs Railway (ELR) Summer Diesel Gala was held over the weekend of 8th to 10th July 2016. The list of locos attending and timetable produced can be found below:
I planned to attend on Friday & Saturday and my time there on Friday was rather brief really as after 31162 had done its two round trips in the morning I decided to head off home as I couldn’t be bothered with hanging around for over 3 hours for the afternoon round trip to Ramsbottom. What a good decision that turned out to be when 31162 didn’t work its afternoon Ramsbottom trip thanks to the timetable degenerating into a farce after the ground frame points were run through at Heywood in the early afternoon. Then to add insult to injury 56098 ran out of fuel at Heywood! 31162 did end up with an outing later that night mind, just as it’s crew had put it to be for the night and were about to head to the pub! The outing being to Heywood where it ultimately worked a train back with 56098 dead in train and 56006 dead on the rear! Despite the farces everyone seemed to have had a good day and everyone was prepared for what may or may not happen the following day………..
On Saturday morning news had already filtered out through various forums that all trains to Heywood would be top & tail, with the points being out of action to allow locos to run round. This meant that the planned loco changes at Bury wouldn’t take place heading to Heywood and instead the loco would be attached to the rear and be dragged to Heywood instead. The loco that should have been detached would be planned to run through to Heywood instead and be detached from the rear when the trains got back to Bury. Which was all well until the one trip that didn’t fit into that category; and it just happened to be the second trip to Heywood that afternoon for 31162! As luck had it 31466 was given an extra trip though and was added to the rear of 31162’s train at Bury to T&T to Heywood; with the 31’s remaining T&T until they returned from Rawtenstall and finished their shifts for the day. This afternoon trip in T&T mode gave the best runs of the two days for me with the extra weight adding to the thrash factor. Both 31162 & 31466 were in fine form and 31466 just seems to get better and better with time.
Despite the crappy weather on Saturday it was still a good day and by all accounts everything went according to plan on Sunday.
Photos from the Friday & Saturday of the Gala: