Taff Vale tank returns to the South Wales valleys

FORMER Taff Vale Railway ‘O2’ class 0-6-2T No. 85 made a triumphal return to South Wales during the weekend of September 14-16 to take part in the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway’s (P&BR) Autumn Steam Gala.

The 1899-built Neilson Reid locomotive, which today is part of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway fleet, last worked between Cardiff and the South Wales coalfield in 1927.

Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T No. 85 basks in a rare burst of sunlight at Furnace Sidings on September 17. ALISTAIR GRIEVE

Two years later it was sold to the Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Collieres in County Durham, and would not return to the Principality for another 90 years.

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No. 85’s ‘homecoming’ also meant both preserved Taff Vale locomotives were in Wales for the first time since withdrawal by the Great Western Railway.

Read more in the October issue of The RM – on sale now!

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