Featuring a Deltic, the sole surviving Clayton and an extremely popular Class 25!
Our popular three-day Summer Diesel Gala, will commence at 09:30 on Friday 3rd August with a variety of locomotives in action over the event including the visit of a 'Deltic', the unique Class 17 'Clayton' and the return of an extremely popular Class 25 D7612!
Courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' will be visiting the Spa Valley Railway in August 2018 and will star in our Summer Diesel Gala alongside our home fleet and hopefully some other visiting locomotives! Built to haul express passenger trains, such as the Flying Scotsman, the sight of a Deltic passing through the High Weald will be one to remember!
Joining the Deltic will be the very unique Class 17 'Clayton' D8568 courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group and visiting us from its usual home at the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. The only remaining member of the once 117 strong Clayton Type 1's will be making its first visit to Kent for our 2018 Summer Diesel Gala, whilst visiting us D8568 will also be available for Clayton Driver Experience.
Making its third return to the Spa Valley is the South Devon Diesel Tractions popular Sulzer Type 2 D7612. This Class 25 previously visited the line in 2007 and 2015, each time gaining many fans. The locomotive is returning to Kent and Sussex for another three month holiday and will be with us until October's Beer Festival before returning home to its South Devon Railway home, during the visiting period D7612 will operate regularly on Green timetabled days as well as special events.
Class 17 D8568 – Courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group
Photo copyright Jonathan Hughes.
Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fulisier' – Courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society
Photo copyright Richard Jones.
Class 25 D7612 – Courtesy of South Devon Diesel Traction
Photo copyright David Staines.
• Drewry 2591 'Southerham'
• Class 10 D3489 'Colonel Tomline'
• Class 17 D8568 – Courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group/Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
• Class 25 D7612 – Courtesy of South Devon Diesel Traction
• Class 33/0 33063 'R.J.Mitchell'
• Class 33/2 33201
• Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' – Courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society
• Class 73 73140
• Class 207 DEMU 1317
• Class 421 3CIG 1497
All of the above locomotives/units are subject to availability.
Friday & Saturday
Three train service, two main rakes of coaches and DEMU 1317.
First train from Tun Wells West is at 08:30, last train 21:20.
First train from Eridge is at 09:15, last train 21:50.
Two train service.
First train from Tun Wells West at 09:35, then 10:15 and then every hour until 17:15 (last train).
First train from Eridge at 10:15 and then hourly until 17:15, last train from Eridge at 18:05.
The full working timetable will be published in early July.
• Adult Day Rover – £25.00
• Child Day Rover – £15.00
• Family Day Rover – £70.00
• Adult 2 Day Rover – £40.00
• Child 2 Day Rover – £25.00
• Adult 3 Day Rover – £55.00
• Child 3 Day Rover – £35.00
• Adult Evening Rover (Fri or Sat, valid from 17:45) – £10.00
• Child Evening Rover (Fri or Sat, valid from 17:45) – £5.00
You DO NOT need to purchase an additional Evening Rover to travel after 17:45! Day rover or Muli-Day rovers are valid for unlimited travel on the dates printed on the ticket.
Book online in advance prior to the 3rd August and save 25%, discount is automatically applied at the checkout!
We do not offer any discounts at special events other than the one stated above, this includes reciprocal travel arrangements, HRA passes and we do not accept BR Privs.
Driver for a Tenner
As with all our diesel events, an opportunity to drive a diesel locomotive will be on offer, for 2018 it will utilise Drewry 2591 'Southerham' at Groombridge, due to the nature of the event we are unable to run these experiences at Tunbridge Wells West or Eridge.
Brake Van Rides
Back by popular demand! These popular Brake Van services will run from Groombridge Station to the Ashurst Spur (as far as siding space permits) and return using Drewry 2591 'Southerham'. These Brake Van rides will be a total distance of about 1/2 mile and are included in the price of a day rover ticket.
Class 33 Running Day – Thursday 2nd August
The day before the main event takes place will see the two resident Crompton's Class 33/0 33063 'R.J.Mitchell' and Slim-Jim Class 33/2 33201 taking part in a mileage day vice our previously advertised Purple timetable. They will run top and tail all day between Tunbridge Wells West & Eridge with 33063 and 33201 swapping ends as the day goes on, finishing in early evening to allow for continued preparation for the following day's Gala activities. The train will either be our 4 car MK1 set which will include Bar Car 'Kate' serving a range of drinks, including the real ale & cider bar!
Full details for the Class 33 Running Day are available here.
The return of the 'Rare Track Excursion'!
Alongside the Crompton running day the 'Rare Track Excursion' will be making a welcome return to the calendar, this time visiting a lot of rarely used bits of track in one hit. Taking in areas of Tunbridge Wells West previously not usually accessed such as the East/West 2 siding (as far as something can go) and No.3 road. Both roads of the carriage siding at Groombridge will also be included along with the available space in the Groombridge Engineers Siding, the former Up Line from Birchden Junction.
A quick pop along to Eridge will also be fitted in to visit Platform 3 and the stub of track beyond the normal stopping point in Platform 2 before returning to Tunbridge Wells West. The traction for this train will be Class 10 D4389 'Colonel Tomline' and Class 73 73140. Drewry 2591 'Southerham' will be on the train as far as Groombridge from Tunbridge Wells West where it will be outstationed for the event. The Drewry works one way only.
This will be the last time a train operates on the Ashurst Spur! They will no longer be available after this!
Full details for the Rare Track Excursion is available here.
At the Stations:
Tunbridge Wells West
• Our Buffet Car 'Emily' will be serving hot and cold drinks and light refreshments.
• Station shop stocking a large variety of diesel traction products, shop will close at approximately 16:30 - 17:30.
• Driver for a Tenner.
• Miniature Cinema.
• Sales stands including the well-stocked Deltic Preservation Society, South East Locomotive Group & Bufferbeam Ltd.
• Shed access - see below
Tunbridge Wells West – Shed Access
It is anticipated that the centre aisle of our shed down as far as the end will be opened up to the general public, items of stock available to view should be:
• Under restoration LBSCR Terrier No. 32650 ‘Sutton’, which is well on the way to completion.
• Under overhaul LMS Jinty No. 47493.
• Under overhaul Class 09 09026 with its freshly overhauled generator.
• Under restoration Class 33/0 33065 'Sealion'.
• Under restoration MK1 TSO 5037.
• In service steam locomotive’s at rest.
• Another unique and soul survivor of its class, the Class 12 15224 on display (not in working order).
• Access to see the interior restoration of Class 207 DEMU 1317s unique Centre Car No. 60616.
• Access to the famous High Rocks or Tea Garden Lane which can provide great photographic opportunities.
• High Rocks Inn and Garden.
• A great place to watch the trains from the Inns' garden.
• Please note that some trains DO NOT call at High Rocks.
• Trains crossing throughout.
• Brake Van Rides to the Ashurst Spur & return.
• Popular BBQ on the station!
• Real Ale bar in the 'Old Van Body'.
• Lots of books on our bookstall under the canopy, grab a bargain.
• Photo opportunities from the station bridges.
• Mainline connections with Southern services to Central London, East Croydon, Oxted and Uckfield.
• Catering in the Waiting Room including a Real Ale & Cider bar!
• The Huntsman Public House.
• Walk back towards Groombridge via Harrisons Rocks, great photo opportunities of trains climbing Birchden Bank from the adjacent field.
• Locomotive change overs taking place with both Platform 2 & 3 in use.
• Sales stands including the Network SouthEast Preservation Society, Southern Electric Group, Class 47 Preservation Project & 37003 Fund.
Dining in the Weald
Friday & Saturday Evening Fish & Chip Trains
At the Spa Valley we have been operating Fish and Chip Supper trains since the early 2000s and they now have an extremely popular reputation amongst the local population and also from afar, at our gala events they are a great way to spend the evening whilst enjoying haulage by heritage diesel traction. On Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th August at our 2018 gala we'll be running one of these popular services on our 19:00 service from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge.
What's on offer?
Join the train from 18:45 at Tunbridge Wells West and be shown to your seats. At 19:00 the train will set off for Eridge and complete three return journeys with heritage diesel traction. Whilst on your journey you will enjoy a freshly prepared Fish and Chip supper followed by an ice cream dessert. You will return to Tunbridge Wells West for approximately 22:30 (or you can alight before if you wish during earlier arrivals).
Bookings for Dining in the Weald Fish & Chip Suppers for this event can be made online now by clicking here, you can also choose your menu options at the time of booking as shown below!
Menu choices (one option per person):
Cod & Chips
Plain Sausage & Chips
Battered Sausage & Chips
Gluten Free Battered Cod & Chips
Gluten Free Grilled Cod & Chips
Vegetarian Spring Roll & Chips
Veggie Burger & Chips
Tub of Ice Cream (Usually Strawberry, Chocolate or Vanilla although may vary dependent on supplier)
On the Friday night this train is hauled by the Class 17 D8568 and Clas 25 D7612. The Saturday night the train will be hauled by Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' and Class 17 D8568. If you just wish to travel on these services without additional food then Evening Rovers are just £10 per adult or £5 per person, of course if you already have a Day or Multi-Rover then of course you do not need to purchase any additional tickets just to travel, if you wish to purchase an additonal food ticket on top of your Day Rover then please contact our General Manager here.
There are also a combined Day Rover & Food options available here for the Friday & here for the Saturday.
Refreshments at our stations and on the train:
Our award winning and extremely popular on train bar car 'Kate' will be with Set A and open throughout the gala from first trains departure to the last trains arrival, this includes the Friday & Saturday evening trains until their return. 'Kate' will be open for the sale of real ale and cider, sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, cakes and other light refreshments during the day along with early morning bacon & sausage rolls or a selection of pastries to purchase.
In the morning on each day 'Kate' will offer take away 'Morning Coffee', this will include three pastries and a cup of take away coffee. This will be available until 11:30. In the afternoon (from 14:00 until 16:00) take away 'Cream Teas' will available, this will include two scones with jam & cream plus a cup of take away tea for you to enjoy on the train.
Our well stocked bar will have the full Dining in the Weald drinks menu on offer throughout the event, this includes a selection of wines (including sparkling) and up to 12 spirits along with a selection of bottled ales, ciders & lagers.
Cask Real Ale's in Kate for the 2018 gala:
• Westerham Brewery – Summer Pearle 3.8%
• Tonbridge Brewery – Blonde Ambition 4.2%
• Kent Brewery – Twelfe Night 7.4%
• Gun Brewery – Zamzama IPA 6.5%
• 1648 Brewing – Signature 4.4%
• Arundel Brewery – Sussex Gold 4.2%
Bag in Box Ciders in Kate for the 2018 gala:
• Kent Cider – Rhubarb 5.0%
• Rough Old Wife – Rough Old Wife 7.5%
• Wise Owl Cider – Pear 6.0%
• Biddenden – Sweet 8.4%
Our ex BIG TSO(RB) from unit No.2254 (Buffet Brighton, B for Buffet and IG the LB&SCR telegraphic code for Brighton) will be open both days serving pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches as well as hot & cold drinks and light snacks.
In the morning on each day 'Emily' will offer take away 'Morning Coffee', this will include three pastries and a cup of take away coffee. This will be available until 11:30. In the afternoon (from 14:00) take away 'Cream Teas' will available, this will include two scones with jam & cream plus a cup of take away tea for you to enjoy on the train.
Emily will also stock a selection of bottled real ales & ciders for the duration of our 2018 event.
Located on the station platform will be our small catering outlet serving hot & cold drinks and light refreshments, at the Eridge end of the station our restored van body will house a line up for three real ales for you to enjoy as the trains pass by. Also located by the Signal Box will be the extremely popular BBQ serving locally produced fare.
Cask Real Ale's at Groombridge for the 2018 gala:
• Caveman Brewery – Neanderfal 4.4%
• Top Notch Brewing Company – Panzific 4.5%
Inside our Waiting Room will be the usual selection of sandwiches, crisps, confectionary, hot and cold drinks and also our popular real ale & cider bar. Eridge will have four real ales for the 2018 event and at least two ciders for you to enjoy in between trains!
Cask Real Ale's at Eridge for the 2018 gala:
• High Weald Brewery – Off The Chart 5.0%
• Pig & Porter Brewery – Dance First 4.2%
• Darkstar Brewery – Revelation 5.7%
• Longman Brewery – American Pale Ale 4.5%
• Old Dairy Brewery – Blue Top 4.8%
• Dartford Wobbler – Peddlers Best 4.0%
Bag in a Box Ciders at Eridge for the 2018 gala:
• Kentish Pip – Wild Summer Elderflower Cider 4.0%
• Duddus Tun – Cherry Cider 4.0%
Are you a locomotive or enthusiasts group and have a sales stand?
If you have a locomotive group sales stand and want the opportunity to raise much needed funds for your project then we are delighted to offer pitches for sales stands at our diesel galas. Just get in touch with our General Manager here and we’ll aim to slot you in, there is no charge for a pitch, we just ask for a donation of around £20. We've now only space available at Groombridge Station during this event, we are unable to accept turn up on the day stands if you have not pre-booked yourself a pitch.
Where to stay?
There are many places to stay in Royal Tunbridge Wells but we suggest you book in advance to make sure you can stay over and enjoy the whole weekend. Being a very popular tourist destination, Royal Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area can book up early throughout the year so don't delay, make your reservation today!
The nearest campsites to Royal Tunbridge Wells are located quite a distance outside the town at the time of writting, the campsite we run past near High Rocks is for use by scout groups only and not the general public.
A list of local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts can be found below:
• Tunbridge Wells Travelodge
• Tunbridge Wells Retreat Smart & Simple Hotel
• The Spa Hotel
• Russell Hotel
• Hotel Du Vin
• 18 Strawberry Close Bed & Breakfast
• Tunbridge Wells Bed & Breakfast
• The Brick House Bed & Breakfast
• Rose House Bed & Breakfast
• Broadwater Bed & Breakfast
• Smith and Western, just across the road from our station at Tunbridge Wells West
• Booking.com for Royal Tunbridge Wells
For further information about Royal Tunbridge Wells and other places to stay as well as things to do please click here for the Visit Royal Tunbridge Wells website
How to find us?
The railway's Tunbridge Wells West address is: West Station, Neville Terrace, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY and we can be located at the Western end of the town by Sainsbury's and Homebase. Brown tourist signs in the area will assist in guidance and there are two Pay & Display Car Parks within 5-10 minutes’ walk of Tunbridge Wells West Station located at Union House, Linden Close and Major York's Road.
Eridge Station can be accessed off of the main A26 Tunbridge Wells to Lewes Road. The station has a large Pay & Display Car Park and currently at weekends is just £2 to park all day.
There is very limited parking at Groombridge Station. High Rocks Station has a large free car park and signage is available from Tunbridge Wells to the Rocks themselves.
For Sat Navs the railway is located at the following post codes:
• Tunbridge Wells West: TN2 5QY
• High Rocks: TN3 9JJ
• Groombridge: TN3 9RD
• Eridge: TN3 9LE
The easiest station you can get to us via rail travel is Eridge where our trains depart from Platform 2 or you can arrive via Tunbridge Wells Mainline after a 10-15 minute walk down the town through the very famous Pantiles. Please check National Rail Enquiries before travelling.
If you select an e-ticket please ensure you print it off and bring it with you on the day!
Note that a £10 admin fee applies to all booking alterations. Seats are NOT guaranteed.