North Wales provides last blast for Southern steam 50!

By George Jones

A REPRESENTATIVE roster of five locomotives with an ‘Along South-Western Lines’ theme was assembled for Llangollen Railway’s October 13-15 autumn gala.

Star of the show was undoubtedly visiting Bulleid Battle of Britain Pacific No. 34053 Sir Keith Park, representing the Southern Railway, and effectively marking the last gap of this year’s headline-grabbing 50 years since the end of Southern Region steam commemorative events.

The ramp at Corwen East provides the elevated view of Bulleid Battle of Britain 4-6-2 No. 34053 Sir Keith Park about to depart back to Carrog in misty, drizzly conditions on October 13. GEORGE JONES

It was assisted by BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80072, with the Western element provided by visiting 2-8-0 No. 2807, prairie tank No. 5199 and pannier No. 6430, recently returned from its summer time wanderings.

The public timetable for each day offered 13 departures from Llangollen, with an additional train starting from Carrog at 9.15am when the pannier-powered auto-train was away at Corwen.

The first departure from Llangollen was the 9.30am, headed by No. 34053, to be followed by No. 5199 on the suburban set.

With topping and tailing of trains between Carrog and Corwen for operational convenience, the former played a central role in the proceedings as engines came on the back of the down trains, or where released from the returning up train to stand in the siding awaiting the next train – a case of Carrog, sub-shed for Llangollen!

Hence the first Down train to arrive at Carrog, where No. 34053 received banking assistance from 2807 through to Corwen East, made perhaps the most powerful locomotive combination seen at Corwen – a 7P with an 8F!

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