A trip back in time on the Gwilli Steam railway
I took a trip back in time on the Gwilli Steam railway Camarthen, the only Steam standard gauge railway operating in South West Wales.
For this experience you only have to pay once to ride all day. The railway have loads of special events and things to do for both adults and children such as Sunday lunch and Jazz trains.
I was lucky enough to go on the railway for Sunday lunch.
The train departs from Bronwydd Arms where the replica GWR (Great Western Railway) station is dominated by a signal box that was bought to the railway from Llandybie on the heart of Wales line.
The signal box was built in 1885 and has been restored to operate signals in the station area, as we were having lunch we sat in the lovely dining car, this consisted of compact tables and seating with a waiter to serve our meal.
The meal we had was lovely we had fan of melon served with kiwi and orange drizzled with raspberry colis, yummy!!
The main course was breast of chicken stuffed with sage and onion wrapped in bacon, served with vegetables and potatoes, the dessert was the classic apple crumble and custard, I also had a cup of tea with a complimentary mint.
We ate our meal as we travelled up and down the track, the line climbs between hills and meadows until it passes under a rusticated bridge close to its original terminus at Penybont. We also passed over the Gwilli river.
The Gwilli Railway has a large collection of locamotives and rolling stock there are too many to list here, however one that interested me was the Royal Mail sorting carriage, this was used to sort the mail as the train travelled through the contryside.
You can visit this carriage when you arrive at Llwyfan Cerrig, the train waits while you also visit the minature railway and stroll down to the picnic area, next time I visit, if the weather is willing to cooperate, I will stay awhile and relax with a picnic along the weir and explore the area in greater depth.
After our meal I hopped off the train at the station into the booking office and waiting room. I spotted a friend with his red wellingtons and his big hat, (Paddington I think?).
Into the waiting room and booking office a step back in time. Old suitcases, a luggage trolley, the station masters telephone and newspapers waiting for delivery and much much more.
Back on the train to the end of the line, I took a ride on the miniature railway this was fun, over a bridge through a tunnel and passed some well known friends piglet and pooh bear.
By the miniature railway stood the Post Office Sorting Wagon, inside we were able to see how years ago our letters and parcels were sorted into their destinations as the train steamed through the country side, letters for Llangwili, parcels for Clarbeston Road, newspapers for Mr Jones at Llandwi Farm, how busy the night trains must have been with all this going on.
I also noticed that there was a post box on the side of the Sorting wagon so that when the train was in the station you would have been able to post your letters.
Then with just enough time left we got back on the train but this time instead of sitting in the dinning car we travelled back in style in a first class carriage, this had a corridor, big seats, bag racks and under seat heaters. This was a carriage just like those in the Harry Potter films!
At the end of our trip we got off the train onto the platform at Bronwydd Arms where we went into the gift shop to buy some souvenirs of a great journey back in time.
This was a lovely day out and I learnt a lot about the steam railway and met some very nice people who gave up their time to keep this piece of history running.