STARS OF SEPTEMBER STEAM GALAS
The Welsh Highland Railway celebrated its 21st birthday in style on September 14-16, with its annual ‘Super Power’ weekend.
Star attraction at the event – named ‘Now we are 21’ in honour of the anniversary of the railway’s first operations between Caernarfon and Dinas – was undoubtedly the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway’s replica Baldwin 2-4-2T No. 762
Lyn, which was making its first appearance away from Woody Bay.
The locomotive acquitted itself well on the climb between Caernarfon and Waunfawr, the 6½-mile run being considerably longer than that presently available at its L&B base.
Although they shared the same railway at the event, Lyn was kept apart from the Ffestiniog Railway’s replica L&B Manning, Wardle 2-6-2T No. E190 Lyd. These two met for the first time in preservation at the L&B’s Autumn Gala on September 29/30, 83 years to the day since the legendary North Devon narrow gauge line closed in 1935 (see News).
The WHR was not the only narrow gauge line holding its autumn steam gala. On August 31-September 2, the Welshpool &
Llanfair Light Railway welcomed back the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway’s Kerr, Stuart 0-6-2T Superb. The host railway had sufficient confidence in the visitor to allow it to run over the full length of the line; last year it was restricted to Llanfair Caereinion-Cyfronydd.
The Statfold Barn Railway’s September 8 open day added the War Office Locomotive Trust’s Hunslet 4-6-0T No. 303 and the Greensand Railway Trust’s Leighton Buzzard Railway-based Baldwin 4-6-0T No. 778 to its extensive roster; both locomotives doubleheading and top-and-tailing trains.
On September 15/16, the Leighton Buzzard Railway held its steam gala, with Patrick Keef’s Bagnall 0-4-0ST Woto, Nick Williams’ Andrew Barclay 0-4-0T Jack and Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST CSR No. 19 visiting and running alongside the Bedfordshire line’s home fleet.
It could almost be Parracombe in the early 1930s… L&BNo. 762 Lyn passes under a former North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways bridge as it arrives at Waunfawr on September 15 during the WHR’s ‘Super Power’ weekend.
During the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s autumn gala the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway’s Kerr, Stuart 0-6-2T Superb hauls Sierra Leone Railway carriages at Heniarth on September 2.