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The Golden Age of Steam Railways

For anyone who missed this first time round, Part 1 is being repeated on BBC HD at 8pm on Saturday 2nd February – just before Borgan, so it looks like a long session in front of the box.

Last Edited by unknown at 31 Dec 09:59
ESW
Lincolnshire

Still time to watch them on BBC i player for anyone who missed them.

Essex UK

We watched part two this evening – another enjoyable programme, especially as we know both railways well.
It has been excellent publicity for the railways featued.

Last Edited by unknown at 31 Dec 09:55
ESW
Lincolnshire
I may have to visit some of these if we actually have a summer this year.

Do make an effort, as they are very rewarding. It’s a long time since we were on the Talyllyn, but we are life members of the Ffestiniog Railway so I am biased! It is a superb run up through the Vale of Ffestiniog to Blaenau Ffestiniog. This has had a makeover in the last few years and is a much more attractive place now. This is a serious railway and works it’s engines hard. There are some quite steep gradients on the line and the exerience of being behind one of their unique double Fairlie engines working flat out pulling 12 coaches is exhillarating. The FR has always been a far sighted company at the cutting edge of railway operation. They had the first passenger bogey carriages and introduced computer ticketing even before BR!

I’ve not done all of the Welsh Highland from Porthmadoc to Caernarvon. Daughter has and had to admit that, much as she loves the FR, scenically the Welsh Highland does have the edge. It goes through the Aberglaslyn pass to Beddgelert, through the forest and then along the flanks of Snowdon. Gradients are even steeper than on the FR and they have a couple of Garrets (ex South African Railways) which they use.

ESW
Lincolnshire

Agreed. I may have to visit some of these if we actually have a summer this year.

Essex UK

We have eventualy got round to watching part one which I found fascinating. I first went on the Talyllyn and Ffestiniog Railways in 1960 when they really were still in the early stages of restoration. It is amazing what they have done since then, especially the Ffestiniog which has built 4 completely new locos and over the last 15 years has completely rebuilt the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog on the traackbed of a line which closed in the 1930s.

Railways do seem to encourage a particular sort of eccentric. Life would be a lot more boring without them.

ESW
Lincolnshire

Anyone watch the 2 programmes? I thought it was pretty good.

Last Edited by unknown at 31 Dec 08:26
Essex UK

I’m torn….we lived in a mining village, surrounded by the smelly things, and my mam’s nets didn’t stay white for more than 2 days. The day diesels were announced was greeted with joy by most of the housewives….
Now, due to annual visits to York Railway Museum with pupils, I’m fascinated by the things, and always go to see one if it’s advertised- we used to have one going past and back, just by our house in Seascale, every Saturday in summer. But- I do remember the soot, embankment fires and dirty necks!

Nr. Seascale, Cumbria

There is something very special about the smell of steam from a steam train…

I grew up in Orpington and the Golden Arrow used to run through Orpington. There was always a sense of great excitement when we went to catch a train at the station that we might see her. The Bulleid Pacific locos were splendid as they stormed through the station with their bright golden arrow on the front. It just wasn’t the same when diesels started to be used instead of steam.

Last Edited by unknown at 31 Dec 03:54
ESW
Lincolnshire

Is it my imagination or do steam trains run more smoothly? I hate the smell of smoke but make an exception for steam trains as that smoke holds memories. We have the Orient Express, British Pullman and the Northern Belle come through our local railway station at times on day trips they do to the Kent coast. As a youngster I remember going to see the Golden Arrow when it came in on platform 8 at London Victoria.

London
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