Eight years ago, the Festiniog Railway completed the replica of the last Manning Wardle 2-6-2 Lew and named it Lyd following the three letter rivers theme. This year the L&B completed a replica of the original Baldwin engine Lyn and the L&B Autumn Gala was to be the first time two L&B engines would be seen together since 1935.
I got to go as one of the crew of Lyd going along a few days earlier to get my feet under the table and help with the preps doing things like servicing the axle boxes on little used DZ wagons that were going to get a lot of use over the weekend.
It arrives empty so has to be filled with water and prepared for service. Filling the boiler with water takes several hours from a small hosepipe. It needs servicing and oiling all round and inspected for any damage resulting from the journey.
On the Friday the railway was officially closed to the public but all then engines were steamed and warmed up ready for the weekend. There were some important trials to be held too.
We needed to ensure that Lyd and Lyn would couple to each other in all combinations. Some slight adjustment was required to Lyn
It would also be the first time engines had double headed so some work was done with road marking spray paint to mark the stopping positions in all combinations.
Throughout the weekend a half hourly interval service was operated. The two engines started the day double heading, then took it in turns for awhile allowing the other one to be serviced and the crews to grab a brew. Then it was another couple of double headed runs early afternoon, and then finish the day with more double heading. We worked a routine so that they changed which one lead each time.
There are many photos and videos of the weekend online for a simple search but here are a few of my favourite photos.
Click on the pictures for a larger view
The public event was the Saturday and Sunday but on the Monday there was a photo charter arranged by 30742 charters. Photo charters are a funny old day with lots of buggering about just to get the images the photographers want. Much of the day is spent waiting for clouds to move! At least it was fine for this one as two years ago it slashed it down all day!
The complication for this one was a water shortage. The entire Woody Bay operation, engines, tea and loos, is supplied by a bore hole and pump and when we went to fill the engines on Monday morning it became clear that the weekend had been too much for it and the well was dry.
A selection of photos can be found here Link One of the photographers one the day turned up early and took some photos whilst we prepped the engines as well as through the day and captured some of the fun the drought created. During the day we ran double headers, single headers, took it in turns, split the coaches into two trains so we could do two trains passing at Woody Bay. He very kindly has sent me a CD with some of the images from the day and I’ll put a few low resolution versions below
The above are all the work of Steve Sedgewick. It wouldn’t be a proper gala if we didn’t have a play with each others engines so on the Monday photo charter Martin and I started on Lyd but then Martin had to get away so I fired whilst the L&B’s John Uphill drove and then in the afternoon I traded Lyd and two mugs of tea for a drive of Lyn
Finally for this write up here are a couple of videos I would recommend. The first is from the gala and the second was made at the photo charter.
Tales of the Festiniog Railway Victorian Weekend and the week following will appear here just as soon as I get it written