MIXED weather greeted the Llangollen Railway’s ‘Along Birkenhead Lines’ gala held over March 3-5. A last gasp of winter saw a combination of sunshine, showers, rain and even snow being experienced in almost equal measure.
However, the three visiting locomotives, LMS Stanier 8F 2-8-0 No. 48624, GWR No. 6960 Raveningham Hall and LMS 4MT 2-6-0 No. 43106 performed faultlessly, alongside the home fleet of GWR 2-6-2T No. 5199, BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80072, LMS ‘Black Five’ No. 45337 and WR 4-6-0
No. 7822 Foxcote Manor.
The weekend marked the 50th anniversaries of both the last steam-hauled ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ and the last through working from Paddington to Birkenhead (Woodside).
Engineer Graham Elwood and his team worked tirelessly to return under-overhaul ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0
No. 45337 back to traffic during the event. Despite them working late into the night for the week preceding the event, No. 45337 was not able to take up its allocated duties on the Friday, for which resident GWR large prairie No.5199 was substituted, but it did undertake light engine moves between Llangollen yard and Pentrefelin on the Friday afternoon.
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