Shropshire Star

Bad weather delays vintage train on its journey from Asia to Welshpool

The Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway regrets to inform passengers that the next train from Taiwan has been delayed … by EIGHT DAYS!

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On track for Welshpool… a 100-year-old steam locomotive hauls the diesel engine from the Alishan Forest Railway depot in Taiwan at the start of its journey to the UK. Pic: MAL TATTERSALL

A 25-ton diesel locomotive was shipped from its sister railway at Alishan on the South China Sea island as part of a three-year loan deal.

But although the engine should have landed in Liverpool Docks on New Year’s Day, bad weather delayed its 10,000km sea voyage.

It will now be transported by low-loader and is expected to arrive in Wales next Wednesday, January 18.

The 50-year-old Japanese locomotive, number DL-34, was built to haul heavy logging trains along a steep winding railway line down Taiwan’s highest mountain to Chiayi.

The Alishan Forest Railway uses the same 2ft 6ins narrow-gauge track as at Welshpool, and the red-painted DL-34 is expected to spend three years on loan there.

Welshpool railway company secretary Michael Reilly, a former diplomat in Taiwan, said: "The engineering, scenery and operation of the Alishan railway is really quite incredible.

“It has the same steep gradients as we have at Welshpool and we hope this loan will further the educational and cultural co-operation between our two railways.”

By Malcolm Tattersall