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 Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Steam Gala 16-9-2018

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Hi Folks, something a bit different.. 4 locos in steam a pub in the clouds! as was the end of the line! train racing!!, a branch line off of a branch line! And the long awaited home coming visit of  1899 Built Taff Vale Railway class 02 0-6-2T loco No 85 to its native Victorian roots. This loco was withdrawn by the GWR in 1928 and was snapped up by a Durham mining co and then NCB...  and finally withdrawn in 1968 and then sold into preservation to the Worth Valley railway in 1970.  The Day: After a bit of gricing on the steep gradients of Blaenavon, we visited (not in our plan) the Big Pit museum and mining experience.. that's guided by real miners .. one said he worked in another S.Wales pit that was a lot deeper than this one descending approx (>700m) 2000ft down  and a good few miles travel to the coal face!! the Big Pit experience will take you 300ft deep that sounds good to me, but still deep!, the last tour into the earth was full (17 folks first come first served basis), we didn't plan to do this yet but will go down into the bowels of the earth in 2019! A day with a difference where men are men once digging out coal...and certainly burning it!  Enjoy the pictures. Plus I would like to say...  the people that run this railway put a great effort into it, making it non-stop action at the gala good on them.  Rich

 PS also included from my youth a flashback shot at Blaenavon in BR days 2-12-1978, before the pit and line closed in the early 1980s, i travelled the line on a valley basher rail tour but Ian did it before me in the snow his picture is much better than my one (taken on a much better camera then as he was an adult then I was not) so Ive included it in the photo set to complete a great story of before and after, Dursley boys in the Valley!

Ian Thomas added this recollection from 1978.

IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY..THIS TOUR WAS A RELIEF TO THE PREVIOUS WEEKS TOUR...WE HAD 20-022/122 FROM SEVERN TUNNEL JUNCTION AND ONWARD FROM BLAENAVON TO USKMOUTH AND BARGOED..AND ON TO CARDIFF FOR 37-294 TO CARDIFF..THE TOUR STARTED IN LONDON WITH 25-052/255. 37-188/224 TOOK THE TRAIN BACK FROM CARDIFF.. THE MAIN TOUR ON NOVEMBER 25th HAD 46-001 PILOTING FAILED 25-157/225 TO STJ...20-044/188 TO BLAENAVON.. USKMOUTH AND BARGOED AND TO CARDIFF..FINALLY 37-180/182 BACK FROM CARDIFF..THE TOURS WERE RUN BY RPPR RAILTOURS SPEARHEADED BY JOHN VAUGHAN FROM DORKING, SURREY.. SO IT WOULD APPEAR SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT ON THE ITENERARY EACH WEEK CHEERS  IAN.  Enjoy

 

Copyright of all pictures in this gallery belong R Kelsey and I Thomas.