I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Something Completely Different
Riding the Train
After two days of hard slogging through
aqueducts, tunnels tight turns and single lane sections of canal, we were ready
for something different and Llangollen provides a perfect opportunity. The
canal runs alongside one side of the River Dee, and the train runs along the
other side. Now this is no ordinary train; it is a real steam train pulling
traditional steam-era passenger cars. Our Return ticket cost us £13.50 each,
but I hurried aboard and captured a first class compartment for our party of
six. This provided us with comfortable plush seating (if a little worn), steam
heating if required, and adjustable lighting (Dim or Bright). It was easy to
imagine Mrs. Marple or Poirot
Riding First Class
sitting in a similar compartment traveling
somewhere to solve a murder.
As I was waiting for the train I went up
towards the engine as it sat smoking, steaming and leaking water and oil to get
a few pictures. The engineer was casually leaning against the open engine door
and I asked him to smile as I took his picture. I then noticed the firebox open
and glowing red hot with the burning coal, and I asked if he would mind moving
a bit so I could get a picture of it. “Come on up, we’re not moving for a few
minutes yet.”. I climbed up into the engine to get a great picture of the
inside of the engine.
Warm your feet?
Inside the Engine
Now this is a special “tourist” train and
the total ride is only about 2.5 miles, and takes about an hour return with a
15 minute stop to switch the engine around to pull the cars back to Llangollen,
but it is pretty unique experience with the smoke and steam and the unique
whistle at each stop. Part of the trip is through another tunnel, and the smoke
and sparks from the stack flash by the windows in the dark and when you come
out the other side the windows are fogged from the steam, even on a sunny
afternoon (Yes, we discovered that
the sun does occasionally defeat the Welsh
I couldn’t help thinking how much my
grandfather who was a great steam train fan would have enjoyed this part of the
trip. I know it was a highlight of the trip so far.