Talyllyn Railway recently played host to a visit from RAF Air Commodore Adrian Williams, the air officer for Wales, was keen to see the railway’s locomotive No.6 Douglas which was built in 1918 and operated for many years at the RAF base at Calshot near Southampton.
It is now the only surviving steam locomotive originally owned by the RAF.
During the visit the Air Commodore was taken for a trip on the line and rode on the footplate of the locomotive for part of the journey.
In 2018, the RAF will celebrate its centenary, having been formed in April, 1918. Talyllyn Railway is also planning its own anniversary celebrations in 2018 for the centenary of locomotive No.6 and part of the visit was to look at possible ways in which the two organisations might co-operate in their respective celebrations.
Locomotive No.6 was originally built by the firm of Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock and was given to the railway in 1953 by the firm Abelson and Co. It is named after the firm’s then manager director, Douglas Abelson.