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5th December 2018, 09:18
A wonderful model of 4-8-8-4 William Jeffers or "Big Boy" belonged to the biggest train set I've ever seen, which was once at Forest Railroad Park, Dobwalls, Cornwall. The engine (and several others) in now in storage in Australia!
It was one of my elder son's all-time great moments when he was allowed to drive Big Boy from the last trip of the day back to the sheds. Probably aged about 16. He still plays trains! (see Welsh Highland Railway etc)
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5th December 2018, 15:08
Hi Rosalind & Mattrom,
I live in Doncaster where Flying Scotsman, Mallard and many more steam locos were built - my grandad, dad and two uncles worked at the local `Plant` Railway Works - York Railway Museum has many wonderful steam locos on display and is well worth a visit!
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5th December 2018, 16:42
I agree with tyke51 - it is a wonderful museum.

Rosalind - another thing we have in common - my son is obsessed with trains even at 22. We went to 6 preserved railways this year - all in Wales
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5th December 2018, 17:07
My son chose York University! It doesn't get any better jigjag, he is now 42 and has been obsessed with trains since before he could speak. I once thought he was crying because we'd seen his grandmother off at the station, he kept pulling me back towards the platform. So I took him back to show him she had gone- all smiles. Nothing to do with grandmother, it was the trains he wanted to see.
If you went on the Bala Lake or the Welsh Highland he may have driven/fired for you. If Tywyn, he was a passed guard there on his 18th birthday. We used to have to try and have holidays in pouring wet Wales.....
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5th December 2018, 18:45
Hi Rosalind, Tyke and Jigjag,
After Googling, I now know that 4-8-8-4 is the wheel arrangement! The museums look fascinating. Though dwarfed in size and status, we are still pleased to have our Locomotive No.1 in The Powerhouse Museum.

As a little girl who was more interested in building things than dolls, I can understand the attraction to feats of engineering. Is it only boys who become train fanatics, I wonder?
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5th December 2018, 19:47
How brilliant to have retained locomotive number one (mostly!). My gt gt gt grandfather's iron works refashioned the boiler of the very early Timothy Hackworth Royal George loco (0-6-0!), but I have not been able to find if any of it remains. The Rocket will find it way to the museum in York next year.

I know of one lady engine driver in Wales, but they do seem rare. The path to becoming a driver involves being a fireman first, which is seriously hot, sweaty and very hard work. Maybe not all that many women would want to spend weekends that way......

My favourite story re trains and girls is a friend's daughter (aged 4, I think) who was given a wooden train set for her birthday by her parents (her father, I believe!) Her grandmother gave her a doll's pram. The little girl was found pushing two of the carriages around in the pram, tenderly wrapped up in a blanket.
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6th December 2018, 16:43
Hello mattrom

Interesting to look at the Powerhouse Museum from your posting. I take it that you are in/from Australia. I have seen your clues on Clueless but did not know of the Australia connection.

Hello rosalind

We have been to all the Welsh ones you mention so may well have come across your son! We were at the Teifi Valley one near Cardigan a few years ago and the driver told me that he and his wife take a weeks holiday every year to go there from Brighton as driver and fireman. His wife, the fireman, was learning to drive. They have volunteers from all over the country.

I tend to judge Railways by the quality of the tea-shops. Apart from the Welshpool one, I have not been disappointed in Wales.
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7th December 2018, 04:37
Hi Jigjag,
Yes, I'm from sunny Sydney. Wonderful as it is, our state government wants to sell the Powerhouse site off, and move the exhibits to another site. They will have fun moving Loco No1!
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7th December 2018, 07:49
Hi jigjag

My son actually moved to Wales so he could drive the trains. Luckily he can work anywhere (computer) and his wife is very understanding!

I imagine there will be considerable protests about the proposed selling of the ste, mattrom. Presumably it's too expensive to keep, or someone wants to build on it.
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