The diesel locomotives at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway Diesel Gala

The audience for this article I know will be limited. It’s solely about the four diesel engines operating on the Diesel Gala at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

The railway strives, and succeeds, in being an entertaining and fun tourist experience. The Diesel Gala was to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first diesel locomotive on the Isle of Wight. The Railway had four diesel locomotives working on the day, including a guest loco from the mainland especially for the gala. My brief video precedes a short description of locos, taken from the railway’s website appearing in the video


  • British Railways Class 05 No D2554 – Initially allocated to Parkeston Quay in 1956, this locomotive remained on the Eastern Region of British Railways until 1966 when transfer to the Southern Region. Arriving at Ryde Shed on 7 June 1966 she was intended to power engineering trains in connection with the electrification of the Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin line and for maintenance trains thereafter. Christened ‘Nuclear Fred’ by the Islands railway staff, it is in full working order although lack of train air brake equipment confines it to works train and demonstration goods train duties.
  • British Railways Class 03 No D2059 – D2059 was constructed at Doncaster in 1959. The locomotive was purchased by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in 1988 to be used as a standby engine in the event of the breakdown of a passenger service steam locomotive.
  • Barclay 0-4-0 Shunter No 235 – Built in 1945 by Andrew Barclay, this small locomotive was placed on loan to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway from the National Army Museum under the same agreement as ‘Austerity’ steam locomotive WD198. She forms a useful addition to the works fleet and rejoices in the unofficial name of ‘Mavis’.

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