10 exciting steam galas taking place in the UK this autumn


The year might be starting to wind down, but there’s still plenty of excitement to be had on the heritage railway lines this autumn – here are some events taking place up and down the country over the next couple of months.

Severn Valley Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala

14 – 17 September

LNER B1 61306 ‘Mayflower’, Bagnall ‘Vulcan’, USATC S160 2253 ‘Omaha’ and LMS Ivatt 2 41312 are the stars of the show at Severn Valley Railway this autumn.

The four guests will appear alongside the SVR’s home fleet for a bumper four days of excitement.

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Before the main event kicks off on Friday, Thursday will feature an exciting array of activities themed around the 100th anniversary of the formation of the ‘Big Four’ Grouping Act. Plus, the grand reopening of Eardington Station and a recreation of the first train to depart from Bridgnorth in 1970 with 43106.

Then, Friday to Sunday will see all available engines in service: 401 ‘Vulcan’, 2253 ‘Omaha’, 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’, 7714, 41312, 43106, 61306 ‘Mayflower’, 75069 and 21C17 ‘Taw Valley’.

There will also be breakfast trains, pie & mash suppers, a mini beer festival, a Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast with a Spitfire, and much more to look forward to!

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Adult tickets start at £34.20, or £22.90 for children and members – purchase here.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s 50th Anniversary Steam Gala

21 –24 September

2023 marks the 50 year anniversary of passenger services at the North Yorkshire Moor Railway, and they’re going all out to celebrate with this year’s steam gala.

Up to 12 locomotives will be in steam of the weekend, including visiting locomotives such as LNER A4 pacific locomotive ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, BR Standard Class 9F-2-10-0 No. 92214, No. 75069, and Caledonian Railway 2P No. 55189.

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These will join NYMR’s home fleet, including BR 9F No. 92134, SR Railway Schools Class No.926 ‘Repton’, and Black 5 Eric Treacy No. 5428.

Stations along the line will be hosting events, such as the Annual Steam Gala Beer Festival at Goathland Station and an exhibit from Scarborough and District Railway Modellers at Pickering Station.

The full timetable of events is now available to download, so head over and plan your weekend here.

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Tickets start at £45 for adults, or £22.50 for members. Children under 15 go free!

All in a Day’s Work at Didcot Railway Centre

23 – 24 September

Visiting engine number 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’, on loan from Epping and Ongar Railway, joins No. 1340 ‘Trojan’, No. 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’ and the newly restored No 2409 ‘King George’ at Didcot Railway Centre this September.

Plus, experience what a typical day at the steam depot would have been like in GWR days, with the chance to see: goods workings, demonstrations of a 70ft turntable in action, see enginemen coaling the locos under the newly restored Grade II Listed 1932 coal stage and a coal truck propelled up the steep incline to the coal stage.

There will be demonstrations, a rare chance to ride the Wickham Trolley, and to see the original 50 ton hoist in use!

Tickets start at £18 for adults, £13 for children, or £5 for members!

Find out more here.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Autumn Gala

23 – 24 September

Two historic Island locomotives will be in action over this year’s Autumn Gala weekend at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Don’t miss the last chance to see W11 (Newport) in steam as it hauls its last public trains before being withdrawn from service at the end of its boiler certificate.

Plus, W24 Calbourne will also be steaming throughout the weekend.

The timetable is available now, so check it out here and then book your ticket – prices start at £19.50 for adults, £8.25 for children aged 5 to 17, or free for under 4s. Members or carers also go free!

Ribble Steam Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala

30 September – 1 October

Full details haven’t yet been released for Ribble Steam Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala, but there will be lots of steam trains running, plus a few diesels.

Demonstration goods trains will also be running over the weekend.

Tickets are available to book now, starting at £10 for adults and £6.50 for children. Kids under 3 go free!

Find out more here.

The Watercress Line’s Autumn Steam Gala

6 -8 October

‘Branch Line’ is the theme for this year’s Autumn Steam Gala on the Watercress Line.

Visiting locomotives No. 72 ‘Fenchurch’, LNWR coal tank no. 1054 and GWR Class 5205, 5239 ‘Goliath’ will join the home-fleet’s 41312 LMS Ivatt and 53808 7F. Plus, there’s one more guest still to be announced!

Enjoy unlimited rides behind the locomotives, learn more about restoration projects and enjoy various interesting talks and exhibits.

The full timetable is yet to be announced for what promises to be an exciting weekend.

Adult tickets start at £35, £18.50 for children aged 5 to 16, and children under 4 go free!

Find out more here.

Great Central Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala

5 – 8 October

Two guest locomotives will be paying a visit for the return of Great Central Railway’s popular Autumn Steam Gala.

GWR Saint 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’ and GWR Pannier Tank 7714 will be visiting, alongside members of GCR’s home fleet, including BR Standard 9F 92214, Ex. LMS 8F 48305, and BR(W) Modified Hall 6990 ‘Witherslack Hall’ (subject to completion of repairs).

Adult tickets start at £27 and £15 for children.

Find out more here.

East Lancashire Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala

13 – 15 October

Enjoy the brilliant East Lancashire Railway behind a range of home fleet and visiting locomotives this October at the Autumn Steam Gala.

Visiting locomotives 2-8-0 LMS 8F 48305 and 4-6-0 LMS ‘Jubilee’ 45690 “Leander” will join the home fleet of 0-4-0 L&Y Pug 19, numbered 11243, 0-6-0 L&Y 752, numbered 51456, 0-6-0 Hudswell Clarke 32 “Gothenburg” and more.

The event will also feature Goods Trains with working shunting demonstrations and the popular Bar Car on one of the carriage sets.

Tickets are on sale now and start at £34 for adults and £22 for children.

Find out more here.

Bluebell Railway’s Giants of Steam

13 – 15 October

Bluebell Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala, Giants of Steam, returns for 2023 in October with an intensive service throughout the weekend.

Guest locomotives Bulleid West Country Class No. 21C127 ‘Taw Valley’ is visiting from the SVR, and Bulleid Battle of Britain Class No. 34070 ‘Manston’ will be visiting from The Swanage Railway.

Tickets are available to book now, starting at £37 for adults or £18.50 for children (children under 3 go free).

Find out more here.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Autumn Showcase

28 – 29 October

The Autumn Showcase is GWSR’s last hurrah of the main operating season and features a full timetable of steam and diesel haulage, goods trains, brake van rides, footplate trips, behind-the-scenes access and on Sunday, running after dark.

7820 ‘Dinmore Manor’, 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co., and 7903 ‘Foremarke Hall’ will be on display, alongside several diesel locomotives.

Check out the full timetable here and purchase your tickets, starting at £30 for adults and £12 for children.

Interested to find out what else is on this autumn and beyond? Check out our events calendar here.

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