Winter Warmer fills gap as local attractions close

THE Llangollen Railway’s December 30-31 Winter Warmer weekend provided entertainment when all other tourist attractions in north east Wales were closed.

The timetable offered a 45-minute frequency service, starting at Llangollen at 9.30am with a mix of steam and diesel haulage for the return journey
to Carrog.

First away was GWR pannier No. 6430 with the popular three-coach suburban set, followed by a three-car DMU formation with the Class 104 being strengthened with a Class 108 single car.

GWR 2-6-2T No. 5199 leads 2-8-0 No. 2807 out of Berwyn on the 1.15pm from Llangollen on December 31. GEORGE JONES

Visitor GWR 2-8-0 No. 2807 from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway took the 11am service out from Llangollen, by which time the suburban set had returned and made a second sortie, with Class 26 D5310 assisting, to add variety at 11.45am.

The Class 26 returned from Carrog assisting the DMU formation, before the spectacle of the day departed Llangollen at 1.15pm with prairie No. 5199 double heading with No. 2807.

So it continued until 4.15pm when D5310 was on the last train brought back from Carrog by No. 5199 at 5.15pm for end of play at 5.44pm.

Despite the wet and blustery conditions on Saturday, a good crowd turned out to support the event, many family groups finding the occasion a different sort of festive activity to visit. They saw how the railways operated in the 1960s changeover era.

Sunday brought some blue skies before lunch and the train sequence continued as Saturday, but with some better photographic opportunities at Berwyn.

A final ‘Mince Pie Special’ day on Monday, January 1 preceded the annual shutdown for permanent way engineering work prior to reopening on February 10, back to Corwen East.

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