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Talyllyn Railway goes all out on Gala Day

All 10 of Talyllyn Railway’s steam and diesel locomotives were in action during the ‘Anything Goes’ gala day on Saturday which was broadcast live on Facebook with TV personality Tim Dunn conducting interviews.

The day began with the naming of the railway’s diesel locomotive No.11 ‘Trecwn’ by the chairman of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy.

The locomotive has just entered full service having been fitted with air brakes to allow it to work passenger trains in an emergency. It is named after the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Trecwn in South Wales where it spent most of its working life before being purchased for the railway in 2008.

It then double-headed a special passenger train up the line composed of all the railway’s original carriages with its sister locomotive, No.12 ‘St Cadfan’. Double-heading for all passenger trains was the order of the day, with ex-Corris Railway locomotives, No.3 ‘Sir Haydn’, which has just returned from overhaul and No.4 ‘Edward Thomas’ being combined together.

This was followed by locomotive No.6 ‘Douglas’, recently returned from the Cosford Air Show and No.7 ‘Tom Rolt’ working in tandem. Finally, the railway’s original locomotives, No.1 ‘Talyllyn’ and No.2 ‘Dolgoch’, paired up to take the original carriages up the line once again.

This was particularly special as it was one of the last days in service for locomotive No.1 ‘Talyllyn’ before it was withdrawn for overhaul.

The railway’s other diesel locomotives, No.5 ‘Midlander’ and No.9 ‘Alf’, were in individual action hauling their own engineering trains. The return working of No.5’s train from Nant Gwernol was particularly memorable as it featured Dunn interviewing the railway’s engineering manager, Chris Smith, while seated on a bench mounted on one of the wagons as they travelled down the line.

The day ended with all 10 steam and diesel locomotives assembled at Wharf Station where a large crowd had gathered to take photographs.

Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society’s chairman, Ian Drummond, said:

“With the return from overhaul of locomotive No.3 ‘Sir Haydn’ and the temporary extension of the boiler certificate for No.1 ‘Talyllyn’, as well as the completion of work on No.11 ‘Trecwn’, it was realised we had a rare opportunity to have all the railway’s locomotives in action on a single day.

“Despite the relatively short notice of the date of the event, it proved very popular with folk coming from all over to witness the occasion. Our thanks must go to Sir Peter Hendy for coming to name No.11, as well as to those who came up with the idea for the event and everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. It certainly proved another memorable day in the history of Talyllyn Railway.”

Locomotive No.1 ‘Talyllyn’ worked its last trains before being withdrawn for overhaul on Monday. It is hoped that it will return to service sometime during 2019.