The Wales West Light Railway Spring Steam Up Event is a annual fundraiser open day at the most westerly Welsh narrow gauge railway in the world, held at the Railways site in Alabama, USA. The 2011 Spring Steam-up will be held April 23rd. & 24th. and is the 3nd event to be held of this type at Wales West Light Railway.
About Wales West LR
The Railway is a collection of light railways with a 2 ft gauge Hunslet steam loco and a Simpex diesel loco and a variety of cars and carriages, Located in Silverhill Alabama in the USA. The railway also has a 7 1/2 inch gauge line, and is other visitor attraction at the park. With a number of themed events to cater for all the family.
The rail collection
The Wales West LR has a number of locomotives built in Britain and imported in to the USA for the railway.
- Dame Ann was the first new build Hunslet Port Class type steam loco built in over 80 years when delivered in 2004. The engine was built by the Exmoor Steam Railway workshops of Bratton Fleming England. The engine is not an exact replica with several modern features incorporated to ensure a long like and comply with safety requirements. With a welded boiler, roller bearing, mechanical lubricator, and modern valve gear.
- Gareth is a reconditioned Simplex type Diesel industrial locomotive used as a works engine to build the 2ft gauge track. Built by the Motor Rail company of England in the 1960s as a Simplex S60. This engine is powered by a Dorman Diesels engine. Gareth has been rebuilt from the Tank engine style that body that was added by a previous operator in the UK to its original industrial style body. The engine was bought through the UK company of Alan Keef Ltd that currently owns the Simplex rail brand.
- Carriages - a number of reproduction Bread box carriages have been built for the railway, but with modern wheels and air brakes and open sides to cope with the warm climate, as no problem with the welsh rain and fog.
7 1/2 inch railway
This railway has been built by volunteers and runs alongside the 2 ft gauge tracks. Enthusiastic engine builders and owners can bring there engines to run on the track.
Several public open day events are held each year.
A G gauge rail track is also part of the park.
A large number of reproduction Welsh styled Victorian buildings have been built up around the park to create an authentic Welsh railway village feel. The buildings are in the American tradition built of lumber and decorated to reproduce the welsh features such as 'Gingebread' detailing of the Victorian originals The use of Cast iron, stone and slate not being possible due to cost and building code considerations.
- There is an authentic Welsh village church from 1861 which is to be re erected on the site.
- A classic American style barn has been built as a Teaching facility for educational tours, and as the location for themed events such as Santas North pole tour.
- New this year the railway will host it's first "Day Out With Thomas" event in late April & early May.
Two days of great Bluegrass music held annually on the 1st full weekend of March.
Spring Steam up
A season opener with the steam trains operating on both lines and Vintage Tractors and a Classic car show.
Members of the South East Antique Tractor & Engine Club display a wide range of equipment at the steam-up.
Members of the Panhandle Cruisers car Club and other groups rally at the Spring Steam-up.
Independence day celebrations event with fun for all the family.
Ghost train themed event for Halloween
Visit Santa at the North Pole and ride the "Arctic Express"
Day Out With Thomas
References / sources