Published on Oct 18, 2011
A TRULY TREMENDOUS GATHERING
Following close on the heels of the National Railway Museum's spectacular at Shildon the previous week the East Lancashire Railway's 'Deltic Gathering' over the weekend of 15th and 16th October 2011 proved to be one of the most successful themed events ever held at the railway.
The spectacularly good weather on the Saturday welcomed nearly 3000 'Deltic' enthusiasts to the North West's premier heritage railway over the two days to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the former East Coast main line stalwarts which are now enjoying their 33rd year in preservation.
The five fully serviceable examples of British Railway's former 100mph, 3300 horsepower diesel electric locos operated public trains throughout both days, clocking up nearly 700 miles, without a hiccup between Heywood and Rawtenstall on the 12 miles route. A late evening train, hauled by all five of thelocomotives, was also operated to allow the dedicated Deltic fans the opportunity of enjoying a beer whilst sampling the sounds and smells of these unique machines on the most powerful train ever to have operated on Britain's railways.
"We knew the weekend was going to be popular with the Deltic fans but I don't think we even dared believe it would attract as many visitors as it did" said Andy Morris, General Manager for the East Lancashire Railway. "These locos really do epitomise the huge change that the railways in the UK experienced in the late 1950s and early 1960s and that shook off the effects of the Second World War.
They brought the national rail network truly into the modern era and enabled a huge leap forward in terms of journey times from London to the North of England and Scotland and it's good to see that contribution celebrated in such a way".
The East Lancashire Railway is very grateful to the National Railway Museum, the Deltic Locomotive Preservation Society, loco owner Martin Walker and to the many ELR working members for helping make the event such a huge success.