Join us for our headline Diesel Event – Featuring visiting Class 42 'Warship' No. D821 'Greyhound'!
Running to an intensive timetable, we bring you our popular Summer Diesel Gala back for the usual three days in August, this time with a visiting Diesel Hydraulic, Class 42 'Warship' No. D821 'Greyhound' courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group and Severn Valley Railway.
D821, with its twin Maybach engines will be coming on a Summer holiday to Tunbridge Wells with its first runs being at our Summer Diesel Gala. The visit of 'Greyhound' to the Spa Valley Railway will be the first away for the locomotive from the Severn Valley in 6yrs!
The Warship will join our homefleet of heritage diesels to bring you a weekend of fun on the 5 mile Spa Valley line which will also include real ales, brake van rides, driver for a tenner and of course the ever popular late evening trains on the Friday & Saturday!
• Drewry 2591 'Southerham'
• Class 10 D3489 'Colonel Tomline'
• Class 31/4 31430 'Sister Dora'
• Class 33/0 33063 'R.J.Mitchell'
• Class 33/2 33201
• Class 42 D821 'Greyhound' – Courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group/Severn Valley Railway
• Class 73/1 73140
• Class 207 DEMU 1317
• Class 421 3CIG 1497
Thursday 1st August – Intensive multiple train timetable with trains shuttling between Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge and Eridge to Groombridge, including Freight.
Friday 2nd August – Instensive two train service from 08:40 to 23:00 including evening DEMU and D821 services.
Saturday 3rd August – Instensive two train service from 08:40 to 23:00 including evening DEMU and D821 services.
Sunday 4th August – Instensive two train service from 09:30 to 18:00 focusing on the visiting locomotives.
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 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.
• 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 South East Preservation Society and Class 47 Loco Group.
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 18:30 at Tunbridge Wells West and be shown to your seats. At 18:40 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 21:05 (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.
The 'Warship' will haul these trains on both the Friday & Saturday evenings alongside another locomotive.
Friday & Saturday Evening Trains
From 17:00 Evening Rover tickets will be available for just £10, this will include travel on all trains from 17:00 to 23:00!
For the first time we are operating our two train timetable well into the evening, one train will use D821 with another locomotive and the other train will be our Class 207 DEMU 1317. The 'Thumper' used to run on our line back in the 1980s and formed the penultimate train paired with 1311 between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge late on a Saturday evening. The 'Thumper' will call at all stations during the evening so you can make an evening out in one of the pubs for dinner or even visit the High Rocks Inn and watch the evening trains go by.
The full timetable will be published in July however it is expected that 1317 will operate three return trips from Tunbridge Wells West on both the Friday and Saturday of our Summer Diesel Gala. The 'Warship' will operate four return trips.
Provisional departure times from Tunbridge Wells West:
17:00 (Warship), 17:50 (Thumper), 18:40 (Warship), 19:30 (Thumper), 20:20 (Warship), 21:10 (Thumper) and 22:00 (Warship).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
All tickets are valid unlimited travel on the Spa Valley Railway on the day of your visit/date shown on ticket.
Note that a £10 admin fee applies to all booking alterations. Seats are NOT guaranteed.