WLLR’s diminutive Dougal wows crowds in Taiwan

A SMALL piece of mid-Wales made a big impression in the Far East on Saturday, December 8, when the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway signed a ‘sister railway’ co-operation agreement with the Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC).

The signing ceremony was held in the city of Chiayi as part of the launch of TSC’s annual Sugar Festival, which for 2018 is taking a theme of Taiwan and British Railway Culture Exchange.
The star of the festival was the WLLR’s Andrew Barclay 0-4-0T Dougal, specially shipped to Taiwan for the event by TSC (HR247).

Every movement of 1946-built former Provan Gasworks Dougal at the Sugar Festival was followed by a horde of photographers. ANDREW CHARMAN/WLLR

While basically in running order, Dougal has not worked since 2013, when boiler work was deemed necessary. After an inspection in Taiwan, steaming at reduced pressure – around 80psi – was permitted.

The 0-4-0T is still in ticket, though with boiler work required, the reduced pressure mandated makes it impractical to use Dougal on the WLLR, whereas it is perfectly capable on the short and flat TaiSugar route.

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