Shropshire Star

Watch as two romantic steam era engines pull excursion train through Shropshire and Mid Wales

Crowds of admirers gathered to be whisked back to the days of steam when two steam engines made their way through Shropshire and mid Wales.

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Steam train crossing Chirk Viaduct. Picture: Nick Stokes

Altogether the train is called the Great Britain XVI, and it was on a nine-day tour of the UK which started in London last weekend and has since visited places such as Kent, Inverness and Liverpool.

Keen photographer Nick Stokes saw the engines make their way over the Chirk Viaduct at just after 11am on Saturday as it puffed its way towards Shrewsbury and on to Swansea.

Nick said: "A few people headed to where I was waiting, it's a lovely spot. We were there about 10 minutes and it turned up on time.

"I take photos in the area and appreciate the Shropshire Star publishing the train times."

After visiting Shrewsbury the excursion went to Craven Arms where it turned right and onto the Heart of Wales line, through Knighton and Llandrindod Wells, towards Swansea.

The train was pulled by two former London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) Black 5 locomotives, nos. 44871 and 45407, which were built in 1945 and 1937 respectively.

Once, 842 of these machines, which were designed to pull passenger and goods trains, existed - operating from the north of Scotland down to the Dorset coast.

Today, 18 survive, with eight in working order around the country.

The YouTube channel Full Steam Ahead recorded the engines heading over the Knucklas Viaduct and other scenes.

The channel's creator said: "My first shot took me to Leebotwood on the outskirts of Church Stretton to capture 44871 and 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier storming away from Shrewsbury towards their pathing stop at Craven Arms to wait for clearance onto the Heart of Wales Line as well as detaching the diesel from the train.

"44871 and 45407 were around 15 minutes late, however, they both sounded stunning and going like the clappers as they thundered through the delightful Welsh Marches countryside.

"Afterwards was a drive to Knucklas Viaduct where I expected to be very busy full of onlookers waiting for the two black fives, and indeed it was.

"I got to my location, but there was already a gallery of photographers and videographers in prime position waiting for them.

"They left Knighton around 20 minutes late, but as expected they didn't disappoint. 44871 and 45407 can be seen climbing away from Knighton on a 1 in 60 climb towards their water stop at Llandrindod Wells. The sound was echoing through the valley which made it even more special and even though the clouds appeared at the wrong time, the sound from 44871 and 45407 was absolutely spectacular."