© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
The train was scheduled to run, steam hauled, from
Carnforth to Carmarthen. Rather than attempting to emulate
its 13-hour marathon schedule, we decided on a ride out to
Knucklas, on the Central Wales line, to concentrate on the
magnificent viaduct. Black 5s 45407 and 44871 would be
working hard on the 1 in 60 gradient, on the climb to
My first thought was an aerial view - perhaps the site of the
former castle, atop the hill to the north, would provide a good
vantage point. There was only one way to find out. It didn’t.
Perhaps if there were fewer trees on its steep slopes...
My second thought was the field south of the minor road to
Heyop, where a public footpath climbs gently to the eaves of a
wood. A good vantage point? Judge for yourself. Several others
Remarkably, the train passed some ten minutes early - and even
more remarkably, the sun shone - until moments after the last
coach left the viaduct!
The line beyond the viaduct is (like so many others today) a
linear forest - a scenic railway in winter, but not when the
leaves are on the trees. But it was great to watch the cloud of
steam moving steadily up the valley, and, when we could no
longer see it, to hear the exhaust until the train was swallowed
up by the tunnel, some 2½ miles distant.
Two lovely black 5s...
45407 and 44871 stomp
across Knucklas viaduct on a
fine spring evening with day 8
of "The Cathedrals Explorer"
(running 10 minutes early!).
Notice how, unusually, the
sun goes in just after the
train has passed...
Yes, right-to-left again...