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Monday, May 9, 2016

Historic railbus heading for Llangollen

Llangollen Railway's annual Railcar Gala will take place on the weekend of June 11 and 12.

Alongside the resident fleet of DMUs, the special guest to the gala will be a diminutive 1958-built railbus, No.79960, visiting from its current base at the Ribble Steam Railway.

Railbus 79960 was built in Germany by Waggon Und Maschinenbau more than half a century ago as an experiment for British Railways to see if more traffic could be drawn to little used lines by the use of lightweight vehicles – a move that had been very successful in mainland Europe.

Introduced to service in 1958 the tiny train (pictured below), one of the smallest to operate in the UK, was used in East Anglia and in the North East before being laid aside as the lines for which it had been intended were closed under the Beeching programme.



Preserved as long ago as 1968 the train served the North Norfolk Railway for 44 years before moving on to the Ribble Steam Railway near Preston.

A detailed history and photos can be found at: http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/79960.html

The Railbus will be in operation for one weekend only and will be joining another historic survivor from East Anglian branch line services, the sole-surviving Class 109 Wickham DMU.

Full use will be made of the Llangollen Railway's unique collection of 1950s and 1960s railcar trains, with the weekend featuring a very intensive timetable. Departures from Llangollen and Carrog will be at half-hourly intervals and from Corwen every hour.

Prior to the event on the Friday evening there will be a photographic evening featuring the railbus during which will stop at various locations along the valley.

On the Saturday evening there will be a social event and barbecue, as well as the ever popular driver experience runs.


* Tickets for the event will be available on the day but can also be purchased in advance and at a discount by going to http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/events/.  More details can be found by visiting www.llangollenrailcars.co.uk or www.llangollen-railway.co.uk


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