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Steam in Wales Dvd, Part 1


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This programme explores four of the ever popular Welsh steam railways. The country is renowned for its narrow gauge systems but the first visit is to a standard gauge railway at Llangollen. Here the might of Great Western steam power is used on a four mile line through the Valley of the Dee. A Manor Class locomotive is the main source of power but there is diesel traction and horse drawn canal traffic as well, all in a delightful setting.

A few miles to the east, the 2’ gauge Bala Lake Railway runs alongside the largest lake in Wales. Its diminutive steam locomotives cope manfully with heavy trains for their size. Fortunately the gradients are kind despite the mountain location. This is a true tourist railway.

Also entertaining the tourists but having an industrial heritage is the Talyllyn Railway. Filming took place during the special annual weekend for members of the Talyllyn Railway Society. Five locomotives were in steam and several diesels also make an appearance. The weather was magnificent and the trains which have plied this mountainous 2’3” gauge seven mile line for more than a century were in excellent form. At times the scenes could easily have been taken from around 1866 when the line opened.

The 13½ mile 1’10½” gauge Festiniog Railway is perhaps the best known line in Wales. It boasts the oldest working steam engine in the world and those unique double-ended Fairlie locomotives. The line has some severe gradients and locomotives have to work hard. Some of these machines are almost household names: Blanche, Linda, Earl of Merioneth, Merddin Emrys, Prince and Mountaineer. See them all in glorious actions in magnificent mountain scenery.

Full commentary by Martin Oldfield.

Directed & Produced by John Cocking.

Approx. 60 minutes.

This new dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – VideoLines.