The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s smallest steam locomotive is going on its travels again – Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 tank locomotive ‘Dougal’ is to be a central attraction at the 2016 National Garden Railway Show in Peterborough on Saturday 9th April.
The visit to the event, held at the Peterborough Arena and the largest UK show of its kind, follows a highly successful expedition by Dougal to the Shrewsbury Steam Rally over the August bank holiday weekend in 2015.
Dougal is a favourite with Llanfair Line members thanks chiefly to its diminutive size compared to the railway’s other locomotives, a legacy of the 1946-built engine’s former life working at the Provan Gasworks, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Paradoxically at the Peterborough event the loco will be surrounded by some of the largest model engines around – the National Garden Railway Show is organised by the Association of 16mm Scale Narrow Gauge Modellers, which has more than 4,500 members worldwide building model railways in the impressive scale of 16mm to the foot, mostly in the garden and the majority running on live steam.
Emerging in the 1970s, ‘16mm’ has grown to become a major modelling scale, and the Peterborough event will feature 17 layouts, help and advice stands, the annual and much-prized Model of the Year competition and more than 90 specialist traders, offering a vast range of steam and battery locomotives, rolling stock, kits and accessories in garden scales.
Among the best-known of these traders is Accucraft UK, and it is thanks to kind sponsorship from the Herefordshire-based manufacturer of model steam locomotives and rolling stock that Dougal can make the trip to Peterborough. Accucraft includes several W&LLR models in its much sought-after range, including Beyer Peacock locomotives ‘The Earl’ and ‘Countess’ and Hunslet 2-6-2T No. 14, the line’s Pickering bogie carriages and most of its freight stock.
Commenting on Dougal’s forthcoming trip east, W&LLR general manager Charles Spencer said that the loco would be working hard for the railway, even if not pulling trains; “Dougal has been out of service for a while as the loco needs some boiler repairs – visits such as this and the trip last August to the Shrewsbury rally helps keep Dougal in the public eye as well as providing vital publicity for the railway”.
“We are particularly pleased to be taking Dougal to Peterborough as the railway has close ties to the 16mm Association – many Association members are also members of the railway, some of them highly active,” Charles added.
Ian Pearse of Accucraft UK said; “We are delighted to once again support the National Garden Railway Show in this way and are very happy to help fund the movement of ‘Dougal’ from the W&LLR to Peterborough.”
More details of the National Garden Railway Show, including online ticket booking, can be obtained from the show website at www.nationalgardenrailwayshow.org.uk
More details of the W&LLR, including the expanded 2016 timetable which includes a number of extra special events, can be found on the www.wllr.org.uk website or by calling the line on 01938 810441.