From the brink to Bodmin!

INSTEAD OF reaching the end of its line, this locomotive has gone way over it, when around 47 years after it was left hanging over a cliff edge, it has since entered regular service on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway following restoration.

Maesteg Comprehensive schoolgirl Linda Paschali, one day in 1971, heard what she thought was a rumble of thunder as she was about to go out of her home in St Mary’s Crescent, Garth.

This Bagnall Austerity 0-6-0ST is one of preservation’s greatest survivors, having nearly fallen over the edge of a mountain in South Wales in 1971. Here it is seen on a regular Bodmin & Wenford Railway service train carrying its War Department number 75178. BWR

She looked out the window and saw a steam train comprising this locomotive and a large rake of coal trucks from St John’s Colliery hurtling out of control backwards towards the edge of the mountain behind her house.

She had been given a cartridge camera as a birthday present, and rushed out to capture the Bagnall Austerity 0-6-0ST as it tottered over the edge, to the puzzlement of National Coal Board officials who had gathered round.

The driver had jumped clear when the train sped out of control. Nobody was injured.

Linda soon forgot about her pictures as the years went by. However, now aged 64, she was looking for pictures of her son as a baby and came across those of the stricken locomotive.

Read more in Issue 240 of HR – on sale now!

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