Bring back Russell!

Eighty years ago, the old Welsh Highland Railway closed. Rebuilding the line has been a tremendous achievement, however, there is one thing missing.

The iconic locomotive Russell from the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, the only surviving locomotive of the original Welsh Highland, is barred from working on its former line to Beddgelert. In railway term,s Russell is the narrow gauge version of the Flying Scotsman.

Hunslet 2-6-2T Russell at Harbour station, Porthmadog, in 1990. DAVID ALLAN

It would create not only Welsh railway history but a tremendous amount of goodwill if it was allowed after 80 years to work along the line it was built for.

Apparently there are a number of reasons why this has not come about.

It is now 2017. Let bygones be bygones. It will not take rocket science to allow Russell to come back home.

I wish all people who appreciate Welsh railway heritage to politely ask the managers of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways to make a generous gesture and bring this locomotive back to where it belongs. They will get a tremendous benefit from this, both commercially and goodwill far beyond their expectations.

Porthmadog is lucky in having two narrow gauge railways. The heritage railway plays a vital role in allowing those of low and medium income to have a railway experience. I wish both railways well.

Every year the F&WHR has a Super Power Weekend. Bringing back Russell will put the ‘Super’ into ‘Super’.

Chris Magner,
Bridgnorth, Shropshire

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