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WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR

LIGHT RAILWAY

 

News from the Line

Photo:  Kevin Heywood

 

Restoration of loco 699.01 is well underway.

 13 April 2014    Photo:  Kevin Heywood

 

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2014

 

 

For older news stories please follow the follow links:

Archive News 2013

Archive News 2009 to 2012

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Release date 20th February 2014

Welshpool loco features on latest Royal Mail stamp collection

One of the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s two original steam locomotives has found a different kind of fame, featuring on the Royal Mail’s latest pictorial stamp collection issued on 20th February.  Locomotive No. 822 ‘The Earl’ is one of four locomotives appearing on the ‘Classic Locomotives of Wales’ collection – the final release of a four-part set that began with England in 2011, followed by Scotland in 2012 and Northern Ireland last year.

The Earl is shown on the 88p stamp, hauling a freight working in the W&LLR’s pre-preservation days in the 1950s, when the line ran through the streets of Welshpool. The loco is seen crossing Brook street into the now long-gone ‘Narrows’, with a car parked across the line having to be pushed out of the way.  Following the railway’s closure by British Railways in 1956 both The Earl and identical sister loco ‘Countess’ were stored at Oswestry works, from where they were able to be rescued when the line was reopened by the Preservation Company in 1963. Since then the two locomotives have proven the backbone of the tourist-era locomotive fleet.   

Llanfair Caereinion’s local postman, Nick Thomas, and W&LLR volunteer Andrew Charman helped the Royal Mail launch the new stamps at the railway’s Llanfair Caereinion headquarters. The Earl is currently in the workshop having heavy winter maintenance to ensure it is in prime condition for the railway’s new season at Easter.

“We rely on The Earl and its sister engine, Countess, to haul trains on our eight miles of narrow gauge railway from Welshpool to Llanfair Caereinion,” said Andrew.  “We are delighted to be helping Royal Mail launch the stamps and to be highlighting the work that volunteers do to ensure that their history is preserved and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year,” he added.    

The other three locomotives featured on the stamps are the Ffestiniog Railway’s ‘Blanche’ and two standard gauge locomotives on the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait and in the South Wales coal fields.

Working in collaboration with railway experts, Royal Mail’s stamp design team reviewed thousands of photographs to find these period photos of steam locomotives in Wales.  The stamps come in a fully illustrated Presentation Pack. Inside the pack, Welsh railway historian, David Gwyn, takes a look at Wales’ steam railways and the impact the steam locomotive had on Welsh history.  The stamps are on sale in selected Post Offices from today and from www.royalmail.com/classiclocomotives

Ends

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