October in the valley

Monday: we’re walking down through Chestnut Coppice to the riverbank and the old railway track. There may be some attractive autumn colours – and maybe an interesting toadstool or two? Yes to both – though the most colourful leaves are on the highly-invasive knotweed which is rapidly colonising the riverbank.

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Here’s an old friend

In February 1970 I visited the Zillertalbahn in Austria (a school ski trip – I took a day off when I realised how close we were to the railway). On that snowy day, their steam locomotive no.2 Zillertal was in charge of the passenger service, and I enjoyed no.2’s company on a run up the valley.

Two years ago, newly-overhauled, Zillertal came to Wales, on hire to the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway. I would have visited sooner, but we all know what happened in early 2020. This afternoon, on our way back from the Rhiw Valley, we called in on the W&L – and there, at Raven Square station, was no.2 Zillertal! It’s a long time since we met!

Rhiw Valley farewell

Two visits today – the first to a little railway in a quiet Welsh valley whose waters feed the Severn mid-way between Newtown and Welshpool. The 15″ gauge line in fields beside the river Rhiw was the creation of the late Jack Woodroffe some 50 years ago. Jack died in 1990, but the line has remained in operation with the support of his widow and a group of enthusiasts. Sadly, it seems that all good things must end, and today, after the last open day of the 2022 season, the line was to close. We’d though we’d better pay a final visit.

More photos to follow in a day or two – in the meantime, here are a couple of views of the railway in operation, with the train hauled by 0-4-0 Jack and
0-6-2T Powys.

Rhiw Valley Railway: “The Line that Jack Built”

The Fourth Bridge

We’re walking from Bedlam to cross the Severn at Ironbridge, then down the old GWR railway track to Coalport. After crossing the bridge there, we’ll follow the old LNWR railway track as far as Coalport youth hostel. Success! The café is open…
Suitably refreshed, we’ll cross the river twice more – over the footbridge towards the Boat Inn, then back through Jackfield to cross the river one more time…

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