Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday 5 June - Into Wales

Thke GWR still lives - Shrewsbury station

When taking a train for any distance it is necessary to make a reservation (but see below). The train to Machynlleth was pretty crowded. We left on time and turned right at Sutton Bridge Junction under an overcast sky. On this section of the trip I checked out and downloaded a book from the Ottawa Public Library.
The first stop was Y Trallwng or Welshpool - take your pick.
The train is in two parts, one for Aberystwyth and one for Pwllheli, which we want. We had reservations in the Aberystwyth section to Machynlleth and in the Pwllheli section from there. On checking it seems that practically everyone was crowded into the first two cars leaving the Pwllheli cars pretty much empty.
The countryside is very lush with many streams. Fields of cattle and sheep with a few rabbits.
Two ospreys close to a nest on a pole. Dovey Junction is a station with no road access. Rhododendrons, growing wild, are still in flower.
They allow dogs on trains here. There were at least four in our car alone and they didn't cause any problems. VIA would be horrified.
The sky has cleared and the sea is a bright blue. We can actually see the Lleyn peninsular from Barmouth, very unusual.
We arrived at Porthmadog on time and had 45 minutes to wait so we went into the station building which has been turned into a pub.
A good use for a redundant railway station is to turn it into a pub where I watched the end of the British and Irish Lions game against the Western Force in Australia
 The bus turned up as advertized and quickly brought us to Beddgelert. The driver pointed out the Royal Goat Hotel although it would have been difficult to miss.  The weather has turned very sunny with a light warm breeze. What is really amazing is that the rhododendrons are in full bloom with many blooms yet to open.  We are very fortunate.
I never thought I would see a train at Beddgelert

WHR Beyer Garratt #138

My first call was at the railway station where the train from Porthmadog arrived on time behind a beautiful 24" gauge Beyer Garratt #138.  It gave the impression of being quietly competent.  The fireman was busy during the station stop shovelling coal. It looked pretty good with nice sized lumps and no dust.  The shovelling plate from the tender is above the level of the firehole so the fireman doesn't have to lift the coal.  I think all the engines I worked on the shovelling plate was level with the floor which made much more work.
Beddgelert is a small village which makes most of its money from tourists.  The hillsides are covered with rhododendrons at present and there are many areas of bluebells


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