Almost forgotten now, a very impressive-looking and unusual locomotive saw action on the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway in the 1970s. “Monarch” (Bagnall 3024 of 1953), ex- Bowater’s, Sittingbourne, was an articulated locomotive, similar in appearance perhaps to a Mallett - but running on two power bogies, Fairlie-style*. Appearances can, of course, be deceptive. Sadly, Monarch failed to live up to expections, and by 1978 was sidelined, in need of a re-tube. In the 1980s it was sold, and moved to the Ffestiniog Railway, where plans to regauge and convert to oil firing (which probably would have overcome most of the problems) failed to come to fruition. More recently, Monarch has returned to the W&L, and has undergone cosmetic restoration for display purposes. Whether there are longer-term plans for a return to steam, I don’t know. This trip was a day outing from Birmingham. Most of our party rode on the train - I was itching to try out a newly acquired 135mm lens. The weather wasn’t great - grey and damp at first, though it brightened later - and there is some motion blur/ camera shake on one or two images (which shouldn’t be apparent on the accompanying photos). Kodachrome II wasn’t ideal (at ASA/ISO 25) for British weather conditions... It will be noted that the line had not fully reopened at this time - trains reversed at the roadside loop at Sylfaen. Photography on the notorious Golfa bank would have to wait. *The best technical description seems to be “modified Meyer” - a derivation of the Kitson-Meyer design Links: Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway Martyn Bane’s Welshpool & Llanfair - Improving the Fleet © Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Ready to leave Llanfair - in the company of "Chattenden" Sir Drefaldwyn The Countess No 11 HE2251 of 1940 Approaching Dolarddyn Monarch and Chattenden Dolarddyn level crossing Running round at Sylfaen Leaving Sylfaen Leaving Sylfaen Leaving Sylfaen The Banwy bridge Almost back at Llanfair