Fairbourne annual steam gala a success

The Fairbourne Railway’s annual steam gala took place at the end of July this year, rather than the end of May as previously, and suffered a little from the abrupt end to the heatwave and its replacement by powerful winds.

St Egwin, Naomi, Yeo and Sherpa at Fairbourne. GRAHAM BILLINGTON/FR

There were the now-traditional 15in-gauge visitors on the dual- gauge track at Fairbourne, with Exmoor Steam Railway-built 0-4-0 St Egwin travelling from the Evesham Vale Light Railway, supplemented by former Fairbourne diesels Rachel and Gwril, and for the first time in many years there was a visiting 12¼in-gauge steam locomotive, in the form of Exbury Garden’s Exmoor-built 0-6-2 Naomi, making a reciprocal visit following the operation of the Fairbourne Railway’s Sherpa at Exbury Gardens a little earlier.

The quadruple header at the Barmouth ferry. GRAHAM BILLINGTON/FR

Unlike the 15in-gauge visitors, Naomi was able to travel over the full length of the line.

Rachel was making a first return to the line since its departure for Wigan in 1984, and partnered Fairbourne’s former Lister, Gwril, with both engines appearing courtesy of the Windmill Farm Railway.

The gala closed with another special, this time featuring the four 12¼in-gauge
locomotives in a spirited run to Barmouth Ferry.

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