October has been a great month for me! I have had the pleasure of two consecutive weekends in the west country, the first in Dorset, the second in Cornwall. Whilst in Cornwall with Mrs Locoyard and friends, we had a brief whistle-stop at Bodmin Parkway station. The hope was to catch a fleeting glance of a steam engine whilst en route to another destination. As you can see, we were very lucky to time our stop perfectly.
42xx 4247 was in steam, and was ready to haul a heavy train out of the station. This is the railway’s largest seam locomotive and as a result I think it has the right to be described as the beast! Or it could be simply called (as our friends 1 year old daughter remarked) the “big train!”4247 made quite a show as it powered out of the station and could be heard for some time afterwards, working up the railway’s steep gradient. It is these very steep gradients that make this locomotive such an asset for the railway, as they were used in service to haul freight trains of over 1,000 tons. The class were used primarily for moving coal in South Wales but were also used to haul China Clay in Cornwall. This locomotive is all the more remarkable by the fact that it is 99 yeas old. This is quite astonishing, in my humble opinion!
Although this visit was brief, it was memorable and for this reason I am keen to travel on the railway in the not too distant future. The railway holds a number of events and anecdotally I’ve heard that their Murder Mystery Evenings are particularly entertaining. This is food for thought for 2016, so as ever, watch this space!