20 years ago, in August 1997, the Spa Valley Railway opened the line to Groombridge. This was following a period from late December 1996 and also from March to August 1997 where we operated a shuttle train over 3/4 mile of track from Tunbridge Wells West to Cold Bath Bridge.
On Saturday 23rd August 1997 the line re-opened the 3 1/2 miles to Groombridge Station. Over the past 20yrs the Spa Valley Railway has grown into Tunbridge Wells' biggest tourist attraction and is often described as the South East's friendliest railway! In the years that followed from our opening to Groombridge we have achieved many things - our line was extended to Birchden Junction in 2004 and then on to Eridge in March 2011. We've become home to a wonderful fleet of Steam & Heritage Diesel Locomotives, including a 1876 built Steam engine known as Terrier 'Sutton' and also the train which closed our line in 1985, 'Thumper' 1317.
We would not exist today without the dedicated volunteers that make up our wonderful railway. Come along and join us this August Bank Holiday to celebrate with them the achievements we have made in such a short space of time!
We are hopeful of having a visiting Steam Locomotive (maybe two if you're lucky!) for the event plus some from our homefleet, plus visiting Diesels which will have featured in our Summer Diesel Gala.
This event is 2017's biggest, as we pull out all the stops to show you what we've achieved over 20yrs! We may still be the 'new kids on the block' but we've come such a long way in such a short space of time through the dedication of our volunteers. We're certainly looking to celebrate!
Locomotives taking part
- RSH No.62 'Ugly'
- Vulcan Austerity No.72
- Guest Steam Locomotive No.1
- Guest Steam Locomotive No.2
- Class 09 09026
- Class 10 D3489
- Class 33/0 33063
- Class 73 73140
- Class 207 DEMU 1317