Steam and green…

The simple pleasure of a steam train ride through glorious lush green countryside, rolling fields and hills and the scent of coal smoke hanging in the air…

Recently returned to service, the Earl, now fresh in Great Western green looks superb, Aberystwyth have done a fantastic job!

We’re well blessed with options in North Wales, and this half term I decided to head back to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway (Llanfair pronounced ‘clan-vire’ incase you are used to reading ‘lan-fair’). Opened in 1903, closed 60 years later and preserved today in nearly its entirety, the two original locomotives still in existence and one operating, it has a unique place in British branch line history as the only surviving common carrier 2ft6in gauge line. Whereas across Europe, many secondary and branch lines were built in metre gauge and 750/760mm, this was uncommon in the UK. The Leek and Manifold and Welshpool and Llanfair being the notable exceptions.

Sadly a selfie, but I wanted to capture the feeling of being free from the real world that I was experiencing…

It has a sort of timeless quality, a country railway doing what it has always done

Today may have been overcast but warm enough to sit on the Austrian carriages with the windows wide open and enjoy the fresh air and the green views… the ride was an hours round trip to Castle Caereinion from Llanfair Caereinion, the headquarters of the line. Covid restrictions aside, the experience was easy and convenient, large free car park, good food on offer, a well stocked shop…

The River Banwy, beautiful all year but especially in the Autumn.

If you’ve not visited, as many haven’t (heading instead straight for the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland on the coast, or Llangollen for standard gauge) then add it to your list as a stop is well worth it. It has a sort of timeless quality, a country railway doing what it has always done. I often day dream of riding it back in the 1930s before passenger trains ceased regular operation and imagine what an experience the market day trains would have been… or as a guard on the freight trains towards the end of the lines service under British Rail. W&LLR, well worth it. More soon…

Comments

  1. This does sound perfect.

    And, thank you, I have always read it as ‘lan-fair’.


    Chris

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Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog - I appreciate you taking the time to share your views. James.