First visitor confirmed for WHR’s ‘best ever’ gala

THE Welsh Highland Railway is to run what aims to be its best ever gala to celebrate a century of its heritage.

Easter marks the 20th anniversary of the visionary decision by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to overturn the recommendation of a public inquiry inspector and approve the rebuilding by the Ffestiniog Railway of the trans-Snowdonian line, subject to conditions being met. The 25-mile line was rebuilt by 2011 at a cost of £28 million.

The War Office Locomotive Trust’s Hunslet 4-6-0T No. 303 (No. 1215 of 1916) is the first guest locomotive to be confirmed as attending the Welsh Highland Railway’s June 21-23 gala spectacular. FR&WHR

From June 21-23, the railway will stage Welsh Highland Railway – Past, Present and Future.

The event will feature a varied timetable of historic trains, including locomotives and carriages that worked on the railway prior to its closure in 1937 – most notably, Hunslet 2-6-2T Russell, the sole surviving locomotive built for the original line and which, as reported last month, recently returned to the Aberglaslyn Pass after an absence of 81 years.

The line will be working closely with Portmadog’s Welsh Highland Heritage Railway to make the visit of Russell happen again.

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