Why are we so fascinated by the power of steam railway engines?
Should I rephrase the last statement, to, why do I still get great joy being around these powerful engineering masterpieces?
I had been in the Welsh harbour town of Fishguard , celebrating the “making of the Mayor of Fishguard and Goodwick “, Bob Wheatley, and one of his first official duties was to welcome the arrival of the steam train Nunney Castle, running as the old service, The Red Dragon, from Fishguard Harbour to London Paddington railway station.
The Nunney Castle, number 5029, is a 4-6-0 configuration (see Train Spotting, a very British hobby ), was built in 1934 for the Great Western Railway (G.W.R.) at Swindon. In 1964 it was sold to a scrap metal company where it stayed until 1976, when a preservation society, the Great Western Society, started the rebuilding which continued until 1990 when she returned to service, and since has continued to be worked upon and updated.
Nunney Castle was hauled into Fishguard Harbour station by a diesel local, and was met by the Mayor Bob Wheatley, and prepared for a nostalgic journey, with crowds of onlookers admiring the perfectly painted livery of the G.W.R.
Mayor Bob Wheatley greets the Nunney Castle
The engines fire had been lit four days previously ready for this journey, and her carers hovered over her like bees around a honey pot, polishing and preparing her.
Eventually, she signalled her departure with a whistle and hissing steam.
I was told the Nunney Castle and her likes would make the Fishguard to London Paddington journey in just four hours, and little bit quicker than my more up-to-date train and mini bus journey which took eight hours.
Fantastic seeing such beauty in motion.
4-6-0 wheel configuration see Train Spotting, a very British hobby