Nantmawr and Llynclys
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© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2016
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
11 September 2016
It’s Heritage Open Day today - we’re off to the Tanat Valley Railway at Nantmawr for their only public trains this year on that remarkable last remnant of the Potteries Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway. We’re also there to see the incredible collection of monorail equipment which has very recently been moved from private storage at Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are now more than 100 locomotives at Nantmawr, almost all built by Road Machines and their successors Metalair between 1952 and 1973. They’re barely recognisable as railway locomotives, with their two central carrying wheels well hidden. Stability on the track is provided by small horizontal guide wheels which bear against the lower edge of the track sections. The track is an A-section, in roughly 6’ lengths (I didn’t measure them), both straights and curves - a bit like giant Hornby. Adjustable support legs at each end allow track to be laid quickly across rough terrain - the idea being a railway which can be set up for a specific job and taken away quickly afterwards.
Whilst much of the rolling stock is “unrestored”, the Tanat Valley people hope to have a usable working monorailway in months. As well as the i/c-powered locomotives, there is a steam locomotive “Monoloco” - “we could have that working within 12 months” On the standard gauge, a new platform further along the line is nearing completion - when in use, it will enable a longer run for trains on this little line. Beyond the platform, the tracks converge in the undergrowth, ending just beyond a fence - truly, the end of the “Potts”. We take a ride on the 2-car DMU, have tea and cake in the buffet car, make a donation to funds (the ride is free on Heritage Open Day), and head for home via Llynclys and the Cambrian Heritage Railway, for another short DMU ride. There’s no shortage of fun along Shropshire’s Welsh border... Links: Tanat Valley Railway Cambrian Heritage Railways
Video: two DMU rides - the leading cab at Nantmawr, as we run back up to the visitor centre, and the trailing cab on the Cambrian line between Pen-y-Garreg Halt and Llynclys
2910 "Hazlemere", dating from 1953 Monorail wagons Monorail tracks in the woods Monoloco - an 0-2-0 saddle tank The main line Hordes of the things Multiple monorails Nantmawr's new platform and buffet car Rails in the undergrowth The end of the Potts Looking back Garden railway? At Nantmawr temporary platfrom Cambrian Heritage - Pen-y-Garreg Halt Pen-y-Garreg Halt on the Llynclys line Back at Llynclys