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Royal Forest of Steam Gala

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Adult 18+
Child 3-17
Child Under 3

The Dean Forest Railway’s signature Royal Forest of Steam gala returns for 2023 over the weekend of October 14th and 15th! We’re delighted to announce that the theme for the Royal Forest of Steam 2023 will be “Steam in South Wales”. Taking inspiration from both our home fleet and the varied railways just across the border, mainline companies and industrial railways will be represented during the weekend.

The first visiting loco for the Royal Forest of Steam 2023 “Steam in South Wales” gala will be No. 1340 ‘Trojan’, appearing courtesy of the Didcot Railway Centre. Built by the Avonside Engine Company in Bristol in 1897 for Dunn and Shute of Newport Town Dock, No. 1340 was purchased by the Alexandra Docks Railway in 1903, with the 100 mile system being absorbed by the GWR in 1923. No. 1340 worked at Cardiff Cathays and Radyr sheds, before being withdrawn from Cardiff in 1932. A life in industry followed, with preservation coming in 1968. Recently returned to steam for the second time in preservation, No. 1340 will be one of the stars of the “Steam in South Wales” Gala on an extremely rare visit away from Didcot.

Our second visiting loco for the “Steam in South Wales” Royal Forest of Steam 2023 gala will be Bagnall No. 401, appearing courtesy of the North Tyneside Steam Railway and the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. A visit which has been in the planning for a couple of years for this veteran of Port Talbot Steelworks, the modern Bagnall “New Standard 18” were intended to be the standard post war heavy shunter, but with the increasing popularity of diesel shunters only three were produced. Two of the locos, including No. 401, moved to the Longbridge plant of the Austin Motor Company, from where both were preserved.

The third visiting loco for the “Steam in South Wales” Royal Forest of Steam 2023 gala will be ‘Rosyth No. 1’, visiting courtesy of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. Despite her Scottish name, this 1914 built Andrew Barclay is a South Wales veteran, having spent her working life at Pembroke Dock and RAF St Athan, before preservation by the Railway Club of Wales. Now in the care of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, she’ll make a fine sight against the autumn colours through the Forest alongside our other locos in action, and an interesting comparison with No. 1340 ‘Trojan’.

In addition, you can look forward to our home fleet working alongside the visiting engines, multiple passenger trains, brake van rides in the demonstration goods train, as well as attractions at stations along the line. A packed weekend, we’d love you to come and join us for a weekend of South Wales steam beneath the autumn tints in the Royal Forest of Dean. Tickets on sale now!


calendarDownload Saturday Timetable diagram

Download Sunday Timetable

*No. 1340 photograph courtesy of Frank Dumbleton / No. 401 photograph courtesy of Matt Ditch Photography / Rosyth No. 1 photograph courtesy of R Wasley