This one hour DVD documentary explores four of the ever popular Welsh steam railways. The country is renown for its narrow gauge systems, but the first visit is to the standard gauge railway at LLangollen. Here the might of Great Western steam power is used on the line through the Valley of the Dee. A Manor Class locomotive is the main source of power but there is diesel traction and horse drawn canal traffic as well, all in a delightful setting.
A few miles to the east the 2' gauge Bala Lake Railway runs alongside the largest lake in Wales. Its diminutive steam locomotives cope manfully with heavy trains. Fortunately the gradients are kind despite the mountainous location. This is a true tourist railway.
Also entertaining the tourist but having an industrial heritage is the Talyllyn Railway. Filming took place during the special annual weekend for members of the Talyllyn Society. Five locomotives were in steam and several diesels also made an appearance. The weather was magnificent and the trains that have plied this mountainous 2' 3'' 7 mile line for more than a century were in excellent form. At times scenes could easily have been taken from around 1866 when the line opened.
The 131/2 mile 1' 10'' gauge Ffestiniog Railway is perhaps the best known line in Wales. It boasts the oldest working steam engine in the world and those unique Fairlie locomotives. The line has some severe gradients and engines have to work hard. Some of those machines are almost houshold names. Blanche, Linda, Earl of Merioneth, Merddin Emrys, Prince and Mountaineer. See them all in glorious action in magnificent mountain scenery.
A full commentary is given by Martin Oldfield.