Chris Summersall/Bob Symes

10.25” gauge GWR 0-6-0 No 2165 Burry Port

Originally built in 1985 by Chris Summersall to Martin Evans’ 5" Gauge Simplex design, doubled up for 10 1/4" Gauge, this locomotive was originally called Titan and ran every Sunday from May - September at the former Queen Mary's Hospital Railway in Carshalton, Surrey. It had a very different in appearance then to how it looks now; the paintwork was a much lighter green and it had the squarer Simplex cab.

When the railway closed in May 1997 Titan was laid up on blocks in the MERU building (Medical Engineering Research Unit)and was put up for auction in December 1999.
After failing to meet its reserve price, a deal was done with Bob Symes. An extensive rebuild and overhaul followed which resulted in its current appearance and GWR style based on The Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Railway tank locos, built by Hudswell Clarke. It enjoyed an illustrious career at Bob's Greendene Works Railway near East Horsley in Surrey until November 2013 when a house move to North Wales prompted the reluctant sale of this much loved loco (photo left). This powerful tank engine is now a regular performer at the Lingfield Light Railway and is popular with drivers and passengers alike. Photos from Alexandra Palace 2018 were taken by Roger Froud.

No 2165 was built in 1913 and cut up in 1955.  It was one of seven built, five of which survived into nationalization. None lasted into preservation. Cylinders were 16” x 24” and driving wheels 3’9”.

The Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway (BP&GVR) was a mineral railway company that constructed a railway line in Carmarthenshire by converting a canal, to connect collieries and limestone pits to the sea at Kidwelly. It extended its network to include Burry Port, Trimsaran and a brickworks at Pwll, later extending to Sandy near Llanelli. For a time the company worked the separate Gwendraeth Valleys Railway which had originally been a broad gauge line. The BP&GVR was notable because it went under low bridges originally built to cross the canal.

It was completely dependent on the local mineral industries it served and, with economic depression, it went into administration for many years. In the final years of the nineteenth century things improved, the BP&GVR became profitable, and was absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1922.

Initially, the line carried the miners to work, and their families to market. From 1913 the railway also carried members of the general public in passenger trains.

After 1945 mineral extraction in the area declined, passenger operation ceased in 1953, and in the 1960s most of the network closed. The final short section at Kidwelly closed in 1998. -

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