Sep 192013

Homeward Bound

After a hectic week of coach and train travel, our last day arrived. It was another bright and sunny day when we made an early start at Wrexham University. Hearty breakfasts consumed, we set off at 08:45 for the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway at Welshpool.

The special gala day celebrated 50 years of a preserved passenger railway between Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion. The line closed in November 1956, but re-opened in April 1963.

English: Locomotives "Earl" and &quo...

Locomotives “Earl” and “Countess” at Llanfair Caerinion on Gala Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a re-enactment the last train to run on the line, with music provided by the Aberystwyth Silver Band. Diesel and steam traction was provided, but the event was so well attended that the small trains were packed.

I made a journey up the line from Welshpool on the 10:50 train, which left 25 minutes late due to problems with the preceding train. The carriages were packed and the journey uncomfortable.

English: Welshpool (Raven Square) Station. The...

Welshpool (Raven Square) Station. The Welshpool and Llanfair railway now ends on the edge of the town. Previously, the track ran between the houses to the main station on the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth line. NE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having seen some dramatic scenery on our week in Wales, the rolling hills of mid-Wales weren’t as thrilling, and as a result, the railway was something of a disappointment. I decided that one trip along the line was enough, and I spent the next six hours looking around the exhibits, and taking photos and video.

The coach picked us up from Llanfair Caereinion at 16:20 and we travelled back to Welshpool where we boarded the 17:01 to Birmingham New Street. I then travelled via Chesterfield, where I caught the train to Alfreton, arriving home at around 21:00.

Although a disappointing day, the re-enactment was worth seeing, and I managed to get some good photos, but I was glad to get back home. Although I enjoyed the tour, it is not something I can see myself doing again. Maybe an independent tour is more to my liking.

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