After visiting my family in Cheshire last weekend we headed over to Wales for a few days. By remarkable coincidence the route to our caravan park passed through Blaenau Ffestiniog! OK, I'll admit this was planned - I'm a member of the Festiniog Railway Society although it must be 15 years since I actually did any volunteering, and only manage to visit the line about every three years these days.
We started from Blaenau, as it suited our route best and parking is easier (particularly with a roof-box exceeding the height limits at Porthmadog). Our train was hauled by double-Fairlie Merddyn Emrys, but at Tan-Y-Grisiau we passed Lyd on an up train, making for a rather nice photo.
I've not visited the Talyllyn Railway for many years, but I've always had a soft spot for it since reading Boyd's book on the pre-preservation days of the line - indeed this was one of my inspirations for Narrow Gauge. Here's Talyllyn running around our train at Nant Gwernol. The cheesy grins in the Corris coach are my family, having enjoyed a ride up the line right behind the loco.
Passing Dolgoch at Pendre.
On the way back to the holiday park we passed through Corris (we'd travelled from Abergynolwyn), sadly there was no time to visit the museum and short line but I spied a wisp of smoke over a hedge. So I pulled over and took a snap of TR No3 Sir Haydn, and the Corris Kerr-Stuart replica.
A nice couple of days on the narrow gauge, and fortunately it seems the kids like steam trains. In fact at Towyn my 5-year old son ran off up the platform with his Fisher-Price camera. My wife shouted after him to ask where he was going, "I'm going to take a picture of the engine" he shouted back...