Leighton Buzzard Railway - 50th Anniversary Steam Gala – Updated

Stephen Doughty, Leighton Buzzard Railway  |  Published: Sep 11th 2017

On the weekend of 30 September and 1 October the Leighton Buzzard Railway will celebrate 50 years since the initial formal meeting held in October 1967 which led to the formation of the preservation society.

A special train service will be in operation each day with nine departures from Page’s Park to Stonehenge Works.  We plan to have ten steam locos in action, four of which are over 100 years old. We expect both days to be busy so please book your tickets online at www.buzzrail.co.uk, with no additional fees.


Visiting locos include *

Patrick Keef’s 1924 Bagnall 0-4-0 “Woto”

Recently restored Kerr Stuart 0-4-0 “Diana” built in 1909

Nick Williams’ Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 “Jack” built in 1925 


Leighton Buzzard resident locos in action will include *

De Winton 0-4-0 vertical boiler loco “Chaloner” built in 1877

Baguley 0-4-0 loco “Rishra” built in 1921

O&K 0-4-0 loco “P C Allen” of 1913

O&K 0-6-0 loco “Elf” of 1936

O&K 0-6-0 loco “Pedemoura” of 1924

Baldwin 4-6-0T WDLR No. 778 of 1917

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 “Doll” of 1919 


It is anticipated that the gala will be the last opportunity to see ‘Elf’ in steam prior to withdrawal for overhaul. (picture, S.Doughty)

Also visiting from the Froissy-Dompierre Railway in France will be the replica US Army Great War ‘Speeder’ (see attached picture, courtesy Froissy Dompierre Railway).

In addition to passenger trains there will be demonstration freight trains.  These are likely to include the LBR’s log carrying wagons, World War 1 rolling stock and a train of LBR sand carrying skip wagons typical of those that were operate by the sand carrying railway.  The sand train will be hauled by two of the railway’s original Simplex diesel locos.

Some freight trains will run the whole length of the line.  Some will run on towards Mundays Hill on a part of the line not normally used. These will be the first scheduled services on this part of the line for over 40 years.  This extension of the railway is currently part of an appeal to replace the track and restore it to passenger train operational standards.  

In addition to the timetabled service, at the end of the afternoon on Saturday 30 September at approximately 17.00 we intend to stage a parade of working steam and diesel locos at Page’s Park Station.  We expect to provide at least ten steam engines in steam and some fifteen diesels with as much variety as possible. We expect it to take about just over an hour and there will be a commentary by veteran member Alf Fisher. During the day the special pairing to look out for will be the combination of newly restored Kerr, Stuart locomotive ‘Diana’, owned by Phil Mason with De Winton veteran ‘Chaloner’ owned by David Fisher.  This is the first time these two locomotives have been paired since they were in the shed together at Pen-yr-Orsedd Slate Quarry at Nantlle in North Wales in 1960 when ‘Chaloner’ was purchased for £21. The majority of locomotives will be residents of the Leighton Buzzard Railway, but apart from ‘Diana’ it is expected that Patrick Keef’s ‘Woto’ will be in action together with ‘Jack’, Nick Williams’ Barclay originally from Granton Gasworks.

This will be the largest assembly of locomotives since the twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations in 1992.

The Motor Rail internal combustion locomotives, built locally in Bedford, have a long association with the Leighton Buzzard Railway. Author and Engineer Alan Keef will be signing copies of his latest book on the Company – ‘Motor Rail Catlaogues’ on both days.   

Full details of the event will be posted on the railway’s web site www.buzzrail.co.uk and the site should be checked for updates.


*  All trains are subject to the availability of locos and rolling stock.

'Elf' (picture, S.Doughty)
'Elf' (picture, S.Doughty)
Replica US Army Great War ‘Speeder’ (picture courtesy Froissy Dompierre Railway)
Replica US Army Great War ‘Speeder’ (picture courtesy Froissy Dompierre Railway)
Browse our Articles

Articles By Date
Search our Articles
Back to top