Diesel Gala
3rd to 5th November 2017

The South Devon Railway is home to an impressive fleet of British Railways ‘first generation’ diesels built during the 1950s and 1960s to replace steam traction and the Diesel Gala weekend on 3rd to 5th November is a great opportunity to experience them in action.

With an intensive service throughout, a bar on the trains and plenty of action for diesel fans – and a visiting engine – the diesel gala is an event that is growing in popularity and a firm date for the diary!

And our visitor this year is a unique locomotive and will the first time a member of its class has worked in Devon.

Clayton D8568 is due to arrive on the railway in mid October, courtesy of its owners, the Diesel Traction Group.   

D8568 was built by the Clayton Equipment Company in the Autumn of 1963 hence its nickname 'Clayton'. It is the only survivor from a class totalling 117 locomotives. Weighing in at just 69 tons, it is powered by twin Paxman 6ZHXL power units giving a total of 900HP for powering the loco via Diesel Electric transmission.

Spending all its BR life in Scotland, the Clayton was delivered new on 16th Jan 1964 to Haymarket moving to Polmadie in Sept 1968. It remained there until it was withdrawn from service on 6th Oct 1971 after just seven years.  The loco was then used as an industrial shunter for 11 years until preservation by the DTG in Feb 1983. The Clayton has been based at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway since Aug1991.

The second special guest, courtesy of the Great Western Railway, is 'celebrity' English Electric shunter 08 644. Named (and based at) Laira Diesel Depot, this is its first trip to a preserved line and will possibly be its first outing on a passenger train. 

Other locomotives planned to run over the weekend (all subject to availability) comprise English Electric type 3 (class 37) 6975, BRCW Crompton (class 33) D6501, English Electric 0-6-0DE shunter (class 09) D3721, RS&H 0-6-0DM shunter (class 04) D2246 and ‘Bubblecar’ single unit railcar W55000. 6975 is in rail blue, the others are in original British Railways green.

Tickets are now available with discounts for advance purchases here.

On 15th October, the Clayton will be used for a Drive a Train experience day, which can be booked on a first come, first served basis here.


Time tables


Saturday and Sunday


Working time tables 


Saturday and Sunday 

D8568 300px_3.jpg

Visitor for the diesel gala: unique Clayton D8568 

08644 300 px.jpg

Our second visitor: 08 644 Laira Diesel Depot 1962 - 2012.Diesel Gala 2017 300px.jpg