Rail fans raise toast to the age of steam in Corwen and Llangollen


Rory Sheehan

RAIL enthusiasts are turning back the clock to the days of the steam train.

Llangollen railway station is currently playing host to Steel, Steam and Stars IV, a six-day event which began at the weekend.

Six mainline locomotives from around Britain are making an appearance at the gala steam event between Llangollen and Corwen.

It has been organised by the 6880 Betton Grange Society, beginning on Friday to yesterday, and continues on Friday to Sunday, March 15.

Around 1,000 people a day were expected at the event, and as part of the attraction there is a beer festival in the Henry Robertson Suite at the station.

Betton Grange chairman Quentin McGuinness said he was pleased with how it had gone so far.

“The best day so far has been Saturday as the weather was good and everyone came out,” he said.

“Friday and Sunday were not so good because of the weather but we are hoping next weekend will be good.

“The only disappointment has been one loco breaking down on Saturday, after it had been brought from up north, but other than that it has gone very smoothly.

“Saturday was packed, and we’ve had good fun, particularly with the shuttle bus from Ruabon to Llangollen.

“Some of the giant engines have also proved very popular as well, including one called Wells which is a streamlined art-deco engine.

“We have had local visitors and people coming from as far away as London, and still have plenty of beer and real ale available for next weekend.”

The society, which is a charitable organisation, is currently building a famous Great Western Railway “Grange Class” locomotive at the Llangollen workshops.

The new engine is the 81st of its type but the only one still running as all of its 80 predecessors, designed in 1936, are now defunct.

One of the trains at the gala is pulled by two large locomotives and an autotrain is operating along the whole railway, along with a freight train and a suburban set.

Two further passenger sets are also in use.

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