Autumn Steam Gala
For many enthusiasts, this is the highlight of the SVRSevern Valley Railway year involving operating around the clock for the whole weekend and having the presence of visiting locomotives. The first Autumn Steam Galas were referred to as "Enthusiasts' Days" or "Enthusiasts' Weekends"; these normally featured home locomotives only. In the 1980s, visiting locomotives began to appear and have done so for each year the Gala has run since 1990.
The event has also extended in duration and now typically incorporates a 'Preview day' on the preceding Thursday to the standard timetable but with visiting locomotives, and three days of Gala from Friday to Sunday inclusive with overnight running on the Friday and Saturday nights. One popular operation is the running of a "Breakfast train" using the Severn Valley Venturer stock. Other common features include demonstration freight trains and shorter local, part-line services.
Visiting locomotives are also often utilised in the days after the gala for private photographic charters.
- Overnight running first took place in the 1993 Autumn Steam Gala.
- The 2000 Autumn Steam Gala was cancelled due to the boiler crisis.
- The 2007 Autumn Steam Gala took place despite the storm damage which closed the line north of Bewdley. The Gala included services running on the main line to Birmingham Snow Hill as well as between Kidderminster and Bewdley, the only unaffected section of the SVRSevern Valley Railway.
- The 2016 Autumn Steam Gala was replaced by the 'Pacific Power' event featuring visiting locomotives LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 A3 PacificLocomotive with a 4-6-2 wheel configuration No. 60103 'Flying Scotsman' and LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway Peppercorn A1 PacificLocomotive with a 4-6-2 wheel configuration No. 60163 'Tornado'.
From time-to-time the SVRSevern Valley Railway publishes the number of Gala passengers, according to the method of counting these which has varied over time (for example, since 2010 documents sent to shareholders became valid as a ticket which did not need to be exchanged for travel.) The following is an incomplete record.
|Year||Number of passengers||Reference||Notes|
|2015||7,300||||Over the Preview day and three days of Gala|