© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 It was a day excursion - I'm not sure where it started; we joined it at Wellington on this hot, sunny Sunday. The pair of 25s would be heading for Barmouth (I think!) - we had decided to go to Aberystwyth, joining the connecting service at the lonely Dovey Junction station. The Vale of Rheidol was still owned and operated by British Rail at that time - a time of corporate image at all costs! At least the VoR locomotives had been lined out. Most of the pre-blue era diesels bore liveries that were "tweaked" to suit their designs - hence the various two-tone colour schemes. The plain blue livery was unsympathetic to say the least. It wasn't just the railways that suffered - remember all those classic Victorian pubs that suddenly sprouted illuminated plastic boxes over their doors, with the name of the pub in plain sans-serif type face (frequently partially-obscuring a far-more appropriate rendition of the same name). I'm rambling - must be the memory of the heat in Aber - and our inability to get a pint (it was a Sunday, and much of Wales was "dry" in those days)... We did the next best thing - left the wives on the beach and headed back to the railway, to catch (photographically) the steam-hauled departures up the valley. Haven't been to Aberystwyth by rail for many years* - I gather things have changed a bit - no more 25s, and the VoR locos have had a repaint. As we headed back to the car at Wellington, in the gathering dusk, we looked over the wall at our train as it pulled away - showers of sparks from the rails as the wheels slipped... I guess sprinters must be much easier on the permanent way - but not quite as interesting. * Until earlier this year... See Aberystwyth on Geoffspages Blog The first train out of Aber Prince of Wales near Llanbadarn Fawr Crossing the Rheidol Prince of Wales heads for the shed Dovey Jcn - our train arrives Later in the day - Prince of Wales at Aberystwyth 25s and the narrow gauge