14th October 2000
The Llangollen Railway Diesel Gala

The Saturday of this three day event.

This three day event was to use the railways own diesel fleet - no visitors this year but a big attraction in the shape of 46010 which would be returning to passenger service after some 15 years. As this was the last surviving Class 46 I required for haulage I decided it was worth going over to "scratch it in". There was also the prospect of scoring Class 08 13265 which would also be in use during the day.

One big advantage of the Internet is that the timetable and loco roster could be obtained well before the event and, as a result, I was able to work out a reasonable plan for the day by starting on the 11.00 departure from Llangollen - allowing a reasonably late start and also allowing time to meet up with a colleague at Bridgnorth to share transport some of the way.

The 11.00 train was the days only solo turn for 20142 - and a decent run it proved to be too! This was taken to Carrog and back to Glyndyfrdwy where a bale got us onto 46010. The first couple of carriages were well wedged but a shout from the front attracted my attention - some other friends already aboard had "reserved" some seats for us both. The "peak" was sampled to Carrog and back to Llangollen.

A farce looked to be developing when we got back to Llangollen - we arrived about 10 minutes late which delayed 47449 on the 13.30 departure. 20142 was still at the rear of the 47449's train and 13265 was up by the signalbox with a single BSK, waiting for a free platform!

In the event 13265 was coupled up to 20142 and the single coach quickly filled for the short journey to Goods Junction. Here we lost 20142 and the gronk propelled us back to the station. Short break before the days loudest journey - 25313 all the way to Carrog....and back to Glyndyfrdwy. I'd chosen to bale here in order to get my third required haulage of the day - USATC S.160 steam locomotive no. 5197. This was paired with 20142 so the noise coming from "up front" was somewhat strange!

Another Glyndyfrdwy leap on the way back got us back behind 46010 for a repeat run to Carrog and Llangollen. With a fair journey home we chose to leave the gala at this point - having sampled everything except 47449 and the DMU.

Follow this link for some photos of the event (my first outing with a digital camera!).

Gary Thornton.

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