On a long weekend in 1988, the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales celebrated 125 years of steam on the line. The oldest operating steam locomotive in the World, 'Prince' - built by George England in 1863 was in action. The line's distinctive double ended Fairlie locomotives, 'Earl of Merioneth' and 'Merddyn Emrys' were both hard at work. The latter engine is newly painted in a splendid maroon livery and returned to work following a major rebuild just in time for the celebrations.
'Russell', a visitor from the Welsh Highland Railway made a welcome return to the line. Her last visit was in the 1930s. The American Alco built 'Mountaineer' and a 97 year old Hunslet, 'Blanche', combined their efforts to haul long trains over the 131/2 mile railway from Portmadog to the mountains of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
At Minfford it was possible to learn how to drive a steam locomotive. 'Brittomart' was surrounded by traction engines, vintage vehicles and railway locomotives awaiting restoration. On the railway itself the trains ran all day for three days of wonderful steam in a glorious setting.
The whole atmosphere and action of the weekend is shown in this one hour DVD programme. There is a full commentary by actor Martin Oldfield and the story of the railway's development from gravity and horse drawn operation to the use of steam is told in some detail. The superb scenery is shown in full and the trains were filmed from many locations, some of them quite remote. The programme also includes many charming moments and is to full television documentary standards.