The final days of the Llangollen Railway will be re-created at its ‘Along Birkenhead Lines’ gala which takes place on March 3-5.
Guest locomotive Stainer ‘8F’ No. 48624, visiting courtesy of the Great Central Railway and the 48624 Locomotive Group, will be used to re-create the last passenger train to pass through Llangollen in BR days – the RCTS ‘Wrexham, Mold & Connah’s Quay Railway Railtour’ of April 29 1967.
To enhance the train’s authenticity, the Llangollen’s BR blue and grey-liveried Mk 1 SK No. E16071 will be included in the rake, closely matching the original railtour. The coach has received a full external repaint, and the roof has been scraped back and repainted at the railway’s carriage & wagon works at Pentrefelin.
Also at the gala will be Llangollen resident, ‘Black Five’ No. 45337, which will take the guise of two scrapped classmates over the gala weekend.
Returning to traffic after overhaul, on March 3/4 it will run as ex-Birkenhead No. 45292, whilst on the Sunday it will take the identity of No. 44680, which hauled the ‘Farewell to the GWR Birmingham-Birkenhead Service’ railtour on March 5 1967.
The Dee Valley line’s ‘Along Birkenhead Lines’ gala marks the 50th anniversary of two significant events: the last steam-hauled ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ and the last through-working from London Paddington to Birkenhead (Woodside).
There will be a grand total of three visiting engines at the three-day gala. In addition to No. 48624, the LR will host ‘Modified Hall’ No. 6960 Raveningham Hall (from the West Somerset Railway) and LMS Ivatt ‘Flying Pig’ 2-6-0 No. 43106 (from the Severn Valley Railway).
Rounding out the line-up is BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80072, ‘Large Prairie’ No. 5199, ‘Manor’ No. 7822 Foxcote Manor and ex-Birkenhead shunter Class 03 diesel No. 03162.
Tickets for the ‘Along Birkenhead Lines’ gala are available from: http://shop.llangollen-railway.co.uk/products/spring-steam-gala-friday-3rd-march-2017.