© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Ten years ago, we visited the Rhyl Miniature
Railway - it was celebrating its 90th anniversary.
“We’ll have to come again in ten years time”.
The 15” gauge line at Rhyl has a complex history -
as has the fleet of six locomotives, for which the
line is noted, built by Albert Barnes in Rhyl. The
detail is spelled out on the RMR’s own website (see
“Our History in Words”) - there’s little point in attempting to
repeat it. Suffice it to say that the locomotives were built over a
period of around 14 years, and that by the time the last was
built, others had left. This would be the first occasion that all
six had all been together.
We’d arrived at the railway in the early afternoon (after a
pleasant lunch just across the river Clwyd, beside which the line
runs). This would give us plenty of time for photography around
the lake, before the line-up of locomotives at 3.00pm. A three-
train service was operating, in the hands of 101 “Joan”, 105
“Michael” and the little Cagney no. 44.
So to the line-up - and the accompanying scrum. By comparison,
the 90th celebrations, which we had enjoyed greatly, had felt a
little low-key - today there seemed to be hundreds vying for
places to get a photograph of the historic event.
After some shunting - partly by hand (!) the
Cagney set off around the lake, out of the way,
and “Joan” made her way to head up two lines of
three on adjacent tracks - carefully arranged in
... 101 “Joan”, 102 “Railway Queen”, 103 “John”
(visiting from the Evesham Vale Railway) 104
“Billie” (visiting from Preston Services near Canterbury), 105
“Michael” and 106 “Billy”. Looking on was “Prince Edward of
Wales” - actually “Red Dragon”, from Windmill Farm. This
locomotive was completed in 1991, incorporating parts from the
locomotive which was used in the early years of the Rhyl line,
before the construction of the first Barnes loco in 1920.
Once the line-up had been unshunted, so to speak, nos. 105 and
101 coupled up to double-head an extra-long train, which was
duly recorded. We felt we’d seen what we wanted to see, and
set off for home. A most enjoyable event - I’ll be back, perhaps
when things are a little quieter...
Rhyl Miniature Railway
Rhyl's 90th anniversary (our previous visit)