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Railway celebration this week

Created on 16/05/2022 @ 13:56

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway is celebrating the 120th birthdays of two original locomotives by bringing together six historic locomotives in a one-off display.

Between May 20-22, The Earl and The Countess will be the centre of attention, but the three-day jamboree celebrates their builders - Beyer, Peacock & Company when the pair will be joined by star Beyer attractions from several different heritage railways and the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. 

One of the main displays will be steam tram no. 47, which was originally built for use in Australia. After a few years Down Under, the tram returned to the UK for another 60 years in service. It now normally resides at the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire.  

Kate Watts, their curator said: “We are pleased to be supporting this fantastic event and enabling many more people to see our steam tram away from its usual home at Crich Tramway Village.”

Another star locomotive will be K1, appearing thanks to the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and the Statfold Barn Railway.

In 1909, K1 became one of many Beyer Peacock locomotives to be exported when it was shipped to Tasmania. It returned to Gorton in 1947, returned to steam in North Wales in 2004 and is now based at the Statfold Barn Railway, Tamworth.

The visiting locomotive making the longest journey will be ‘Fenella’, normally found on the Isle of Man Steam Railway. ‘Fenella’ was delivered to the Isle of Man Railway in 1894, eight years before the Welshpool & Llanfair locomotives were built. It is extremely rare for IOM locomotives to appear in the UK despite their popularity.

The oldest loco on show will be 143 years old. No. 1827, built in 1879, is one of the oldest working steam locomotives in Europe and is expected to operate on a specially laid track section during the event.

No. 1827 has a particularly fascinating history. It spent its working life, of approximately 70 years, at the Gorton Foundry of the Beyer, Peacock company in Manchester. In this role, it is almost certain to have come into contact with other locomotives attending the event.

For the enthusiast, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see all these Beyers together in Mid Wales.

For the general visitor there will be lots to see and extra trains running up and down the line with unlimited travel on a special Rover Ticket.

For this event there will be no parking (except for blue badge holders) at the railway’s Raven Square station. Instead, there will be a free shuttle bus from the big car park at Welshpool Livestock Market, postcode SY21 8SR, on all three days of the event.

At the Llanfair end of the railway, the Visitor Centre “Connections” will feature visiting model trains.

Also new to Connections this year is the Cloverlands Model Car Collection, recently relocated from Montgomery.

Traditional tearoom fare will be available in Llanfair and hot food from an outside food van, with extensive covered seating. The shops at both ends main stations will be open, with commemorative wares on sale.

Bookings are brisk for this event from all over the UK and beyond. Tickets can be bought in advance from by telephone on 01938 810441 or on the day. 


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