Monday, 3 March 2014


Classic locomotives in Wales on new Royal Mail stamps


BR 5600 Locomotive No. 5652 is pictured heading a coal train in Merthyr Tydfil

A set of stamps celebrating four of Wales' classic steam locomotives is being unveiled by Royal Mail.
The Hunslet No. 589 Blanche on the Ffestiniog Railway will be featured, along with the LMS 7720 which ran between Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Two other stamps feature "The Earl" steam train in Welshpool, Powys, and another pulling coal in Merthyr Tydfil.
Royal Mail said the locomotives had contributed to the economic life of Wales.
The four stamps - a first class stamp and three international stamps on sale at selected post offices from 20 February - are the last in a series which also celebrated engines in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The set includes:
  • A first class stamp picturing the LMS No. 7720 leaving the Britannia Bridge with a Bangor to Holyhead train in about 1930
  • A 78p stamp featuring The Hunslet No. 589 Blanche rounding the curve of the Cob in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, in 1964
  • An 88p stamp with the W&LLR No. 822 "The Earl" in Welshpool, Powys
  • A £1.28 stamp featuring the BR 5600 No. 5652 heading a coal train in Merthyr Tydfil in 1959
LMS No. 7720  
The LMS No. 7720 leaving the Britannia Bridge in about 1930
The Hunslet No. 589  
The Hunslet No. 589 Blanche is pictured in Porthmadog, Gwynedd

Volunteers on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway at Porthmadog have been "sprucing up" the Hunslet No. 589 ready for the launch.
Spokesman Andrew Thomas said: "We are delighted to be helping Royal Mail launch the stamps and highlight the work that volunteers do to ensure that their history is preserved and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year."
The new set of stamps is designed to celebrate the "work horses" of the railways, before diesel and electric took over.
Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: "These new stamps pay tribute to the locomotives and their crews which contributed to the economic life of Wales."

The W&LLR No. 822  
The W&LLR No. 822 in Welshpool, Powys


Quite by chance one of the Focus Transport team was recently in the right place at the right time for a photo opportunity. Passing through Ripley he noted a steam engine and tender on low loaders about to be transferred onto tracks at the Midland Railway Centre. Thus with camera in hand a set of images were captured including the tender from lorry to line, which can now be viewed here
However, time constraints meant he had to depart before a similar movement occurred with the main element, steam engine number 46521. But enjoy what was able to be seen

A detailed history of this engine can be found on the Great Central Railway website here 

Unfortunately there was an incident with her a while ago, which was reported on this website in May 2013 and details can be viewed here