At the beginning of April I spent a couple of days in Wales. The itinerary was simple: Day One the Talyllyn, Day Two the Welshpool and Llanfair. So let’s go!
Day One: The Talyllyn Railway
At Tywyn Wharf it was difficult to get far enough away to get the whole of Dolgoch in frame. She’s not exactly a large loco and this made me realise how compact Tywyn is. A great station to model.
Dolgoch took me to… Dolgogh where I went for a walk around the waterfalls. It’s an easy walk that you can do between trains, and the falls were impressive.
Back to the railway. Here’s Talyllyn arriving at Dolgogh. The water tower looks very like the Unit Models water tower I have on my layout 🙂
Talyllyn took me to Nant Gwernol. Here’s the running round operation at the terminus.
I travelled back to Tywyn in an open coach. Chilly! I needed a cup of coffee when we arrived.
There was plenty of time to tour the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. The museum is excellent and full of fascinating objects. These included engraved glasses from the Lynton and Barnstable Railway, nameplates from Sir Arthur Heywood’s 15 inch gauge locos and full sized locos. My favourite loco was definitely Rough Pup, a lovely Alice class Hunslet dating from 1892.
I enjoyed my ride so much I went for a second one. This time in coach number 1 hauled by Talyllyn.
We passed Dolgogh on the way.
It was a special journey. I was traveling along the picturesque valley in a 150 year old coach. As the first class coach it was originally the most luxurious on the line. I wondered what the inhabitants, in 1866, thought about the railway. It’s difficult to imagine how unusual, and novel the new narrow gauge line must have been.
Day 2: The Welshpool & Llanfair.
It was a wet, grey day, but the rain and the steam combined to create a great atmosphere.
The journey was very enjoyable, the steep climb out of Welshpool, the rolling landscape and the ride alongside the river Banwy into Llanfair. While the Earl took on water I toured the station.
There are some great things to see at Llanfair. The station buildings and platform have a real narrow gauge feel and they have inspired the model buildings on many layouts.
There is an original point lever from 1902.
It was nice to see a W&L cattle van – I have a kit of one that I must build!
And I’d never seen a Baguley-Drewry before.
The Zillertalbahn coaches are very comfortable and warm, but on the way home I stood on the balcony. I had a great view of The Earl going cab first all the way back to Welshpool. Smoke, steam and the sound of the exhaust – a great experience.
We passed Joan. She’s a lovely looking loco. I think I have a soft spot for the colonial Kerr Stuarts.
When we got back to Welshpool the sun had come out and The Earl sparkled.
The crew oiled and watered her…
… and someone had prepared a nice cup of tea for them. Now that’s teamwork!