The Talyllyn Railway is to be congratulated for its excellent commemoration on 17 March of the 70th anniversary of the arrival at Tywyn of the two former Corris Railway locomotives Nos 3 and 4.

These had been saved from scrapping by the visionary stationmaster at BR Machynlleth, Campbell Thomas, from 1948 to 1951. To keep two locomotives in the open, although covered by tarpaulin sheets, for that length of time was a tremendous achievement and had he not done so the history of Welsh narrow gauge railways may well have been different.

Mr Thomas was helped by the staff of Machynlleth Motive Power Depot who kept the locos in working condition by greasing moving parts over the time. Without realising it, Campbell Thomas and foreman John Vaughan Owen and their staff joined the ranks of the early railway preservationists for which we must be grateful. It was good to see the two locomotives in beautiful condition, a far cry from when they arrived, and to see Dolgoch recreating the event when they were hauled to Pendre for repairs.

Chris Magner

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