The railway rally

Mike Huckfield shares his experience of organising a day out with a difference with a group of like-minded friends – to visit as many heritage railways as possible in a single day

It was a simple idea – how many tourist railway sites could we visit in one day? A few years ago I got into the habit of visiting the Bala Lake and Talyllyn railways on the Saturday of the August bank holiday.

Then last year I wondered how many railways could be visited en route, so I invited along my friend Kenny Felstead and ‘The Great Welsh Trip’ was born. Much to the bemusement of others, we managed to get to nine railways.

Rhyl Miniature Railway’s 1920-built Barnes 4-4-2 Michael crosses the entrance to the car park as it makes another circuit of the line. MIKE HUCKFIELD

This year, however, I wanted to do more. Our friends Kieran Wilding and Matt Evans were roped into the scheme, and I spent several days consulting maps and timetables to come up with a plan.

As a group of friends, we are all keen photographers and contribute regularly to Heritage Railway. Two of our group are also heritage line volunteers – Kieran is signalman at the Mid Hants Railway, while Kenny is a travelling ticket inspector at the Severn Valley Railway, where he is an employee too.

Itinerary

■ 5.30-11am

Our first stretch would see us taking in the Severn Valley Railway, Telford Steam Railway, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Tanat Valley Railway, Cambrian Heritage Railways (Llynclys) and the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust.

Matt and I had to meet up separately from the others, so we were also able to start with a visit to the remains of Walsall Miniature Railway. This wouldn’t count towards our final total, and as all that survives is a platform and turntable pit, it may seem a waste of effort, but it had a connection to later on, so it felt justified.

Read more and view more images in Issue 248 of HR – on sale now!

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