Spa Valley Railway » Railway Events
6th July 1985... The end of the Spa Valley line...
35 years ago on 6th July 1985 the line between Tunbridge Wells Central and Eridge closed, many thought that was the end... Now the Spa Valley Railway is Tunbridge Wells' biggest tourist attraction carrying thousands of visitors per year through the glorious High Weald!
To commemorate 35 years since the line closed we are operating our very own historic Class 207 DEMU 1317 between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge, with perhaps a surprise or two in store for this special occassion...
Class 207 DEMU 1317
Known as a 'Thumper' because of the engine note, 1317 is a Diesel Electric Multiple Unit built specifically to operate on the Oxted Line. It consists of 3 carriages with a driving cab at each end and in one carriage there is a 4 cylinder English Electric engine that provides the power. Back in the 1980s Tunbridge Wells West was a huge depot full of 'Thumpers' and 1317 along with others regularly ran trains along what is now the Spa Valley Railway, down to Uckfield and up to London. When our line closed there was still a need for these versatile units and up until 2004 they could regularly be seen operating to Uckfield.
Preserved in 2004, two of 1317s carriages have been lovingly restored following major bodywork back to its 1985 British Rail Blue & Grey colours, complete with a fully overhauled interior. Ongoing at our Tunbridge Wells West depot is the restoration of 1317s middle carriage, often called 'the Centre Car' and many people ask us when will it return to service. Our volunteers are working every week on the return to traffic of this historic vehicle which when complete will make 1317 the only 3 car 'Thumper' in preservation, if time is on our side then there is a possibility (not a guarantee) it might operate during this event.
Full details of our 35th Anniversary of Line Closure plans will be published in Spring 2020 but for now, make sure you save the dates!
Please either print off your eTicket or have it accessible on a mobile device for inspection.
Note that a £10 admin fee applies to all booking alterations. Seats are NOT guaranteed.
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