TWO former Great Western locomotives will be among the star attractions at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway's spring steam gala.

Pendennis Castle and Witherslack Hall are both making their first-ever passenger-hauling appearance on the five-mile line.

The locos, which spent their 'working lives' operating in south-west England and Wales, will be joined for the gala by a seven-strong line up of resident Keighley & Worth Valley locomotives.

Other attractions at the event, which runs from next Thursday (March 21) until Sunday, March 24, will include behind-the-scenes tours on the railway.

No 4079 Pendennis Castle was built in Swindon a century ago and hauled express passenger trains on the Great Western Railway’s main lines.

It made a name for itself in the 1925 locomotive trials, when it outstripped the cream of the London and North Eastern Railway's engines hauling trains from London King's Cross to Doncaster.

After completing 1,758,000 miles of service with the Great Western and subsequently British Railways, the locomotive was sold to the Hamersley Iron Company in Western Australia in 1977.

Repatriated to the UK in 2000, it is now based at the Great Western Railway Society’s Didcot Steam Centre in Oxfordshire.

After undergoing extensive restoration, the engine returned to steam three years ago.

Witherslack Hall is one of the Great Western Railway’s 6959 class of mixed traffic locomotives.

Built by British Railways in 1948, it also took part in locomotive trials, but on the route from London Marylebone to Manchester.

After being withdrawn from service in 1966, it spent 16 years languishing in a South Wales scrapyard before being rescued and restored by the Witherslack Hall Society.

Now resident at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough, it has enjoyed guest spells on the East Lancashire Railway in 2017 and 2018 and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 2019.

A Keighley & Worth Valley Railway spokesperson says: "Our railway is a great stage on which these fantastic locomotives can perform.

"We have ensured that the action will be pretty much non-stop over the four days of the gala, because we want to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to see and smell the atmosphere of a steam railway.

"Added into the mix will be the behind-the-scenes tours and the possibility of travelling in an old-fashioned guard’s van. It all represents a festival for not only dedicated railway enthusiasts, but all the family."

For full details, visit or call 01535 645214.