or A wet day on the W&L
A day out with the Earl
28 September 2008
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It's not far to Welshpool - a little under an hour if the traffic is friendly - and I've been many times since my first visit in July 1968, when we travelled behind The Earl from Llanfair Caereinion to Castle Caereinion. Yes, that was as far as the line went, 40 years ago. Today's trip would of course start from Welshpool's Raven Square station (what a shame that the old line down to the main line station is lost - it didn't seem feasible in those early days of preservation, but look what's been happening in Porthmadog recently...). The Earl was only just old enough for his pension in '68 - now he's 106 years old, but still very fit - well preserved, one might say. The reason for the trip is perhaps obscure - suffice it to say that I'd planned a day out with a friend from Shrewsbury, and, given the poor weather forecast, he suggested a trip on the W&L - "I've got a two for the price of one voucher...". So had many other people. Three of the coaches on the train were reserved for a "Great Little Trains" coach party, leaving just one ex-Hungary bogie coach for everyone else. I think it must have been the best-filled W&L train for a long time. I chose to ride
shotgun on the open balcony - the windows were starting to steam up before we left Welshpool, and there might be some fun and games on the 1 in 29 Golfa bank... ...there weren't! The Earl performed magnificently - just a momentary slip as we passed over the level crossing a little way up the bank, and no obvious difficulties beyond that point - we arrived at Llanfair Caereinion more-or-less punctually. Time for a browse in the bookshop, followed by a quick bite of lunch - and, of course, a snap or two (dodging the raindrops...) The rain was showing signs of easing by the time we were back in Welshpool, so we made another trip to Llanfair Caereinion, this time in the car, pausing to photograph the train on its journey. No need to hurry - the train doesn't - though there is much vegetation along the lineside. And that was it - time for home. A most enjoyable little outing, despite the weather Link: Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
Locomen's Lunch Refreshments for the Earl - water... Is there any left? ...and coal Posing "The Wasp" and the Diema Watering at Welshpool A quick check round Raven Square run-round Steamy departure from Welshpool Approaching Coppice Lane Coppice Lane Leaving Coppice Lane Arrival Same age as The Earl Through Heniarth... ...and over the Banwy bridge Approaching Coppice Lane