Loughborough built Steam Locomotive to return home
Talyllyn Railway's locomotive No.3 Sir Haydn is going on its travels in April, when it is due to be moved to Leicestershire to appear at the Great Central Railway's Swithland Steam Gala between 26th and 28th April 2013. Here it will be displayed in the yard at Quorn and Woodhouse station along with a Talyllyn publicity and sales stand staffed by volunteers from the railway.
This is an appropriate venue for the locomotive to visit as it is very close to the original works where it was built in 1878. These were the Falcon works of Henry Hughes' 'Hughes Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works' in Loughborough, which became the 'Falcon Engine and Car Works' in 1881 and the 'Brush Electrical Engineering Company' in 1889.
The Talyllyn Railway is a narrow gauge railway opened for goods traffic in 1865, which has operated continuously since between Tywyn on the west coast of Wales and Nant Gwernol just over seven miles inland. In 1951 operation of the line was taken over by the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and became the world's first preserved railway.
Operation of the line is primarily by volunteers from all walks of life, with a small paid staff. It is now a major tourist attraction in the mid-Wales area, contributing significantly to the area's economy.
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No.3 was one of three identical 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotives built by Hughes for the 2ft 3ins gauge Corris Railway. It was rebuilt as an 0-4-2 in the 1890s and continued to serve the line until it closed in 1948. Although it never carried a name on the Corris, it was colloquially known as the Falcon after the other two locomotives had been scrapped in 1930.
In 1951 it, along with Corris No.4, was purchased by the embryonic Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society for the Talyllyn where it has worked ever since, although it has returned to the Corris on two occasions in the last few years. It was named Sir Haydn on the Talyllyn after Sir Haydn Jones, the railway's long-time owner in the days before preservation, but often appears as its alter-ego Sir Handel from the Skarloey Railway.
Currently No.3 is based at the revived Corris Railway where it has been displayed since its boiler certificate expired last year, being stored in the engine shed that was built for its arrival 135 years ago. The Corris Railway has agreed to release the locomotive early from a leasing agreement in order for this visit to take place. While the locomotive is away from Tywyn it is also planned to visit other venues, details of which will be released in due course.
Although it will not be in steam it should prove to be a unique attraction during the gala. It is planned that it will be displayed along with a Loughborough built standard gauge diesel locomotive, plus the other attractions at the station including the working turntable. All Talyllyn members are also entitled to privilege ticket rates during the gala on production of a valid membership card.
A spokesman for the Talyllyn commented 'Our thanks must go to all those who have made this visit possible and enabled No.3 to return to its birthplace. Particularly we would like to thank the Corris Railway for being so gracious in releasing the locomotive to us. We hope that it will prove to be a great attraction during the gala.'