Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.

The Welsh Highland awakes

inspiration narrow-gauge photos preservation prototype welsh-highland-railway

A friend and I took a whirlwind trip to north west Wales at the weekend. The narrow gauge railways there weren’t the primary reason for the visit (although I’m sure they were a factor in why we needed to go there – cryptic eh?) but it seemed rude not to have a look while we were passing.

First up, on an overcast and rainy Saturday morning, was the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (aka the WHR(P)) which was just opening for the season. Although due to the machinations of the FR/WHR(C) re-opening it is currently only running as far as Pen-y-Mount, there was an added attraction in the form of the newly extended museum at Gelert’s Farm – in fact we were the official first visitors!

Ruston 'Glaslyn'
Our loco was Glaslyn, a very much modified Ruston 40DL with a few more creature comforts than the original industrial design.

Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
The first train of the day was only lightly patronised – however there was some fun at Pen-y-Mount as a works train (visible on the left) was in the loop and had to be shunted out of the way to allow Glaslyn to run round.

Plate-framed Simplex 'Cnicht'
The new museum area is light and airy, with the exhibits well presented. There is still more to be put on display, and the paint is still wet (literally!) but it looks like a great start. This is Cnicht, a plate-framed Simplex originally from the Yorkshire Water Authority.

Baldwin frames
Lurking in the older part of the museum are the frames of ex-WWI Baldwin 4-6-0T no. 794. A project is underway to restore it as no. 590, to represent the Baldwin of that number which ran on the original Welsh Highland Railway in the 1920s and 30s – long since scrapped. The recently restored no. 778 will be visiting the line from Leighton Buzzard during the May gala.

More photos from the weekend’s adventures soon!