Bumper gala to celebrate Leighton Buzzard Railway’s 50th anniversary

The 2017 gala. Copyright Mervyn Leah
The 2017 gala. Copyright Mervyn Leah

To celebrate its 50th year of preservation, the Leighton Buzzard Railway’s annual steam gala will offer the most intensive timetable seen in recent years.

The weekend of September 15 and 16 will see nine passenger departures from Page’s Park each day between 10am and 4pm with trains running every 40 minutes in the morning and early afternoon.

Each departure is planned to be operated with a different locomotive, with up to 10 intended to be in steam. As well as heritage steam engines from its own collection, there will be visiting locomotives, including one surprise yet to be announced.

In addition, some trains will operate as mixed passenger and freight, there will be light engine movements, freight trains, and on Sunday a demonstration using the Ruston Bucyrus 10RB digger, highlighting the line’s original use as a sand-carrying railway.

Tickets are on sale online, and usual fares will apply, including second or subsequent return journeys at half the standard fare, which can only be purchased from the booking office on the day.

There will also be the opportunity to see engines such as 1936-built ‘Elf’, currently withdrawn awaiting its 10-year overhaul, in the Engine Shed Show, as well as getting a glimpse of the future extension from Stonehenge Works.

For full details, and fee-free online ticket booking, see www.buzzrail.co.uk/static/gala.html.