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.

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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