Gala first for Abergwili Junction

By Phil Budd

THE Gwili Railway’s October 7 gala was the first since its southern extension to Abergwili Junction was opened in July – with visitor numbers and the financial return described as ‘very healthy indeed’.

The day saw both resident steam locomotives, RSH 0-6-0STs No. 7849 Moorbarrow and No. 71516 Welsh Guardsman alternating on passenger and goods trains, alongside the railway’s Class 117 DMU. Class 03 D2178 also provided footplate rides in station limits at Bronwydd Arms.

Rush hour at Llwyfan Cerrig! On gala day, RSH 0-6-0ST No. 7849 Moorbarrow departs with an afternoon train, while the three-car Class 117 DMU prepares to follow with the next passenger service. Alongside, RSH No. 71516 Welsh Guardsman waits to shunt the yard with a demonstration engineering train – while Taff Vale Railway 01 0-6-2T No. 28 (on loan from the National Collection) can be seen on static display alongside. PHIL BUDD

An intensive three-train timetable ran throughout the day, with trains crossing at both Bronwydd Arms and Llwyfan Cerrig. To allow this to happen, a blockpost at Llwyfan Cerrig was open, where searchlight signals protect the station, controlled by a panel in the old crossing keeper’s hut at Crundale.

Commemorative programme

To acknowledge this Abergwili gala ‘first’, passengers received a commemorative programme (with articles about the extension project), while a special photographic display about the extension was held in the station cafe. The demonstration goods train was made up of vehicles from the railway’s engineering fleet, to represent construction trains used on the new railway.

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