MRHG Webpage No.36

Gala Day at Llangollen and GWR Railmotor on 19th April 2013

Photographs taken by MRHG Members Graham Whitehead, Ted Lloyd and Richard Kells with notes and historical background information compiled by Graham.

Click on the photograph to enlarge it













1. Pannier Tank 6430 simmering gently at Llangotlen station, prior to departing for Glyndyfrdwy with a goods train. These 0-6-0 Pannier tank locomotives were built at Swindon in 1938-9 to the design of C. B. Collett, and were fitted for push-pull working.

2. Also in steam was B R Standard 2-6-4T no. 80072, seen after bringing a passenger train to Carrog. This is an R. A. Riddles design for British Railways; basically an improved version of the ex-LMS 2-6-4T. Many were built at the Brighton works of the former Southern Railway from 1953-57, the class extending to 155 locomotives of which 15 have survived into preservation.

3. Ex-Great Western Railway no. 7822 "Foxcote Manor" arriving at Glyndyfrdwy with a train from Llangollen. The very handsome "Foxcote Manor" is usually the star of the show, but at this Gala, it was outshone by the ex-Great Western Railmotor, no. 93. A total of 30 "Manor" class locomotives were built first by the Great Western Railway, with a further batch in 1950 under the auspices if British Railways. They were relatively lightweight locomotives, and excelled in branch line work

4. Railmotor no. 93 is, in effect, a carriage with a small steam engine in one end. It can be driven from either end, and this type of vehicle ran on many of the Great Western Railway's smaller branch lines. No. 93 was built in 1908, and was converted to a trailer coach, and then became a mobile office before restoration. The present trailer, no. 92, was built in 1912, and ended it's days as a mess room on Cardiff Docks!

5. Much of the work of restoration of the Railmotor was carried out at the Llangollen works, and it was by means a simple task. This interesting photograph shows the installation of the vertical boiler, which was made in Bradford, and seems surprisingly large. The wheels of the new power bogie are also larger than one might expect on such a relatively small vehicle. (E.C.Lloyd)

6. This view of the front end clearly shows the cylinder and motion of the power bogie, with the boiler and chimney situated behind the driver's cab. The large diameter of the driving wheels is clearly seen.(R.Kells)

7. No. 93 and trailer no. 92 run out of Glyndyfrdwy station, past the signal box and over the points, and back into the station under a white cloud of steam, prior to making the return journey to Llangollen.

8. The white cloud of steam is now replaced by a column of smoke as the driver attends to the fire. Firing is a tricky business, and has to be done whilst the locomotive is stopped. No. 93 is ready to make the return journey to Llangollen.

9. Described in The Railway Magazine as "The Best of Both Worlds", the Railmotor has a slightly incongruous look, and it could equally be said that it hadn't made up it's mind as whether it is a carriage or a locomotive. No. 93 and the trailer no. 92 stand at Glyndyfrdwy station awaiting departure.

10. The Railmotor departs from Glyndyfrdwy, over the level crossing, a striking sight, in a cloud of dark smoke, and with cylinder cocks open in a flurry of steam.

Background information on GWR's Railmotor

At the turn of the 19th century, the Great Western Railway was exploring ways of making small branch lines more efficient. In 1902 a Railmotor was designed, which was in effect a carriage with a small steam engine fitted into one end. No. 93 was built in 1908 and survived until 1935 when it became a push-pull vehicle for use with auto-fitted tank engines, and then was put into use as a mobile office in 1956. It was taken into the care of the Great Western Society, and the meticulous restoration was carried out at no small expense at the Llangollen Works. The seats were of a design that enabled the backs to be switched to face forward, whichever way the Railmotor was heading. Some authentic seats of identical design to the original were found on the Gleneig Tramway in Adelaide, and have been brought halfway round the world and installed in no; 93. A trailer vehicle, no. 92 was built for use with the Railmotors in 1912, and lasted until 1957, when it became a mess room on Cardiff Docks. It has now been restored, and re-united with no. 93. After restoration at Llangollen, no. 93 has visited several preserved railways.

Click here for the home page

Click here for the book sale page

Click here for the programme page