SVR’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ named for Diesel Bash

27 July 2023
Four guest hydraulic locomotives named ahead of heritage railway's large Autumn event.

The Severn Valley Railway has named the four guest locomotives that will be joining the ‘Magnificent Seven’ line-up at its Autumn Diesel Bash, from September 29 to October 1. The railway has confirmed that it has agreement in principle to welcome four diesel hydraulics to the event.

Subject to availability, these will be Class 35 'Hymeks' D7017 and D7018, owned by the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group and based at the West Somerset Railway, and 'Warship' Class No. 832 Onslaught and Class 35 'Hymek' 7076, owned by the Bury Hydraulic Group and based at the East Lancashire Railway.

The visitors join the SVR-based D821 Greyhound, D1015 Western Champion and D1062 Western Courier to complete the ‘Magnificent Seven’ line-up.

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The railway is also promising photo shoots with some of the visitors and the home fleet, and a pre-event ‘excursion’ day on Wednesday September 27, featuring three round trips, hauled by three different diesel hydraulic locomotives.

At The Engine House, there are plans for a 5in gauge display of miniature diesel hydraulics, along with a mini beer festival.

Severn Valley Railway diesel gala autumn 2023 event

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“Undoubtedly this is a very ambitious event,” explained the SVR’s managing director, Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster. “We’ve pulled together the largest ever gathering of main line diesel hydraulic types. We needed plenty of faith to attempt this. But, the SVR is home to the only two currently working Class 52 Westerns, and these were our initial seeds of inspiration. And, our Diesel Festival in the spring proved we’ve got serious drawing power in terms of our visitor numbers. Together these factors gave us the confidence to go for it.

“The ‘Magnificent Seven’ theme for our Autumn Diesel Bash is the final element of celebrating 50 years of heritage diesel preservation. What better way to do this than muster this impressive showing of former Western Region diesel hydraulic classes, which were the pioneers of early diesel locomotive preservation.

Severn Valley Railway diesel bash autumn event gala

Visiting locomotive Hymek D7076. IAN MURRAY

Gus added: “We know that people are keen to see the timetable, but an event of this size requires something very complex to be put together. It’s a work-in-progress and we’ll be announcing it as soon as possible. And, we’re working on something very special for Sunday October 1 as a final flourish to round off the Diesel Bash in true SVR style, which we hope to announce very soon.”

“The SVR is setting out its stall as the leading venue for heritage diesel events, and by providing this unique opportunity, we think we’ll nail it.”

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