Abbey Light Railway

The Official Website of the Abbey Light Railway, Kirkstall, Leeds

Diesel (and everything else) Gala

We do vary which loco we use on the passenger train every week, but with currently 9 working locomotives at our disposal, we sometimes like to get them all out at once and have a play!

We do this twice a year, during what we like to call our diesel gala (due to the fact most of our locos are diesels, but the Battery Electric and Petrol powered Gogo tractor also run). Everything that will start and run, comes out and gets run. Not only do all the regular passenger locos take it in turns to haul the passenger train, we also double head them in various combinations. We also pilot some trains with the locos that don't usually get use on the passenger train, such as the WW1 10hp Baguley, Battery Electric, Gogo tractor and the O&K.

The dates for diesel galas are in March (on the weekend of the Narrow Gauge North model railway exhibition at nearby Benton Park school in Leeds) and again in October. Check back at this website nearer the time for exact dates.

Below are some photos of our previous diesel galas, a real must for fans of industrial narrow gauge locomotives!

Spring Diesel Gala 14th March 2010

Another sucessful diesel gala. We were blessed with bright, sunny weather and we had quite a turnout!

All the engines ran, and did passenger trains (apart from George, which was runnning low on battery power) Unfortunately the Gogo tractor didn't gogo at all. It was suffering from engine problems and wouldn't run continuously. We apologise to anyone that came to see this run, but as anyone who was there saw, we were trying to fix it.

We made a few changes from last year. The first is the introduction of Day Rover tickets. There are (at the moment) only available during the gala, and allowed unlimited train rides throughout the afternoon. The second was having a plan for the order we were going to run things, and displaying it to everyone to see. Feedback on these points, and anything else, is welcomed via the guestbook.

Anyway, here are my pictures.


Our Skip wagon on display at Narrow Gauge North. It seemed to go down well.



The first train was Lister-hauled, then Druid took the next one.



Then Odin, then Atlas. Both with full trains.



Then the little ruston took the train. after that is was my turn, driving Vulcan on a rare passenger outing. It really is extreme motive power for our three-coach passenger train, even fully loaded. It didn't even notice the load.



The baguley had two runs up the line today, once piloting Druid, and again piloting the Lister


Later on in the day we double headed Odin and Loweco. Odin was doing most of the work!



Between turns, the locos were all stood ticking over for visitors to photographs and look at. All the while, the Go-go tractor was having one of 'those' days, and wouldn't run, despite Ged's best efforts.


Thankyou to everyone that attended, and please keep checking this website for details about the next one in October.

Autumn Diesel Gala 25th October 2009

Following on from the success of our event in March, we decided to have a go at a repeat performance in October. Unfortunately, the weather was very wet in parts, so a big thank you to everyone that braved the elements to be here.
The Highlight of the day for many was the first public passenger train with Gogo Tractor haulage. It eventually started, running on petrol only, and hauled the train (with Atlas on the rear) to the Abbey. We then tried to run it round to haul it back but found we'd forgotten the coupling bar. When I returned with a coupling bar the Tractor had cut out and wouldn't restart, leaving Atlas to haul the train back solo. Vulcan was then deployed to rescue the Gogo Tractor.
Another highlight were a Vulcan hauled train and the double heading of the Baguley and Druid, in the torrential rain. There was a bit of drama in the cutting when we nearly slipped to a halt, but we made it there and back eventually.
All the other locos hauled trains as well, sometimes n various double heading combinations.

Some of my photographs of the day.

Diesel Gala 15th March 2009

Our now annual diesel gala took place on the 15th of March, and was a complete sucess. Trains ran until about half past 5 and all working engines were run, including the Gogo Tractor. All the usual passenger engines hauled the passenger train, and sometimes in pairs, and sometimes being piloted by none air brake fitted locos. This saw the railway's first electric powered public passenger train, and the first passenger turn of Vulcan (although it had to stop short of the Abbey station to avoid the sharp bend over the points. The baguley also made a return to passenger duty, double heading with the Lister for a trip. The only thing that went wrong was Vulcan ran out of fuel at one point and had to be rescued.

Thanks to everyone that came and supported the day, watch this space for plans for next year.


Above photos: Fiona Malton

Above 3 photos: Richard Pike

Diesel Gala 9th March 2008

Thankyou to everyone that supported this. This was our first attempt at a diesel gala, but it seemed to be a sucess with quite a few people with cameras about.

We had the passenger train hauled by a different engine on each trip, including one return journey with the Baguley double heading with the Lister. all the engines were started up and run, including Vulcan (which wouldn't start on its electric start, and had to be cranked over) and the Hudson Gogo tractor, which is notoriously awkward.

According to the management, the diesel gala made a positive difference to the takings, and we'll do it all again next year! watch this space!

This is a video taken by Ken Morris, who visited for the diesel gala and has kindly allowed me to use it on this site.


And these are the photos I took in the afternoon between moving the engines around.

from the left, Loweco, Druid, Atlas and Odin, all turned to face downhill.

The Baguley and Lister double head a passenger train

The Baguley, awaiting the right away.

A video clip of the baguley and Loweco departing from the Abbey station.

Odin brings in the train, as the Baguley and Loweco wait to take it away again.

Loweco and the Baguley pose outside the workshop

Odin takes the passenger train to the Abbey. All the engines ended up turned the wrong way, but this enabled some different views of them.

from the left, Druid, the Baguley, Loweco and Ruston 20DL

Odin keeps company with the Gogo tractor, whilst Atlas waits to take the passenger train next.

Odin and Loweco display the railway's loco colour scheme.

Ruston 20DL has just brought in the passenger train, and Druid is coupled onto the other end ready to take it out again.

Druid waits for the right away with a full load of enthusiasts.

Abbey Light Railway Simplex Motor Rails. Odin and Druid

Loweco passes the Baguley on a passenger train to the Abbey

The Gogo Tractor, this was started up and run during the afternoon.

and to prove it....

Vulcan and the Baguley

Little and Large. Loweco (the smallest diesel in the fleet) and Vulcan (the largest)

From the left, Druid, Vulcan and Ruston 20DL

Druid with the skip wagons

Ruston 20DL. Nothing wrong with the suspension, its parked on the loading ramp.

Vulcan shunting the O&K chassis

Broadside of Vulcan

The baguley, Loweco and Vulcan. Vulcan had just been dragged from its space in the shed by Atlas at Ruston 20DL double heading.

Whilst setting up, Druid and the coaches stand next to Loweco and the skip wagons. my camera strap also wanted to be in the shot.


The only member of the fleet that is not a diesel, George the Greenbat, was on display at Narrow Gauge North railway exhibition all weekend.