Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Railway Reflection No.6 - Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Orion

Clives Curiosities

Railway Reflection No.6 – Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Orion

Tubize or not Tubize, that is the question.

It was certainly the question facing the narrow gauge Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway during 2006.

The Tubize in question was the 2-6-2T steam locomotive No.15 Orion. Built in 1948 by the Belgian firm S.A. Les Metallurgiques Nivelles Division de Tubize, for the Jokioninen Railway (JR) in Finland. The engine was a replacement for one handed over to the USSR as part of Finland’s war reparations and became No.5 in the JR fleet.

Orion in light steam
Orion in light steam. – Clive Hardy

No.5 remained operational until 1964 when cracks in the firebox resulted in its withdrawal from service. In 1972 it was purchased by Malcolm Knight and brought to the UK. During 1983 it was moved to the Welshpool & Llanfair, where it was put on display until 1990 when work started on returning it to traffic. 

No.5 was renumbered No.15 in the official Welshpool & Llanfair locomotive roster as well as carrying the name Orion.  

Apart from the steam dome, Orion is complete following modifications to reduce her weight.
Apart from the steam dome, Orion is complete following modifications to reduce her weight. – Clive Hardy

However, on return to traffic in the autumn of 2000, it was found that railway’s gradient profile and tight curves proved problematic for such a big engine.

The photographs were taken on Sunday 14 May 2006, following modifications to reduce her weight. Fortunately, the Jokinionen Museum Railway were keen to buy her back. After 34 years in the UK, Orion returned to Finland, operating her first service on 15 October.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Clive is our Transport and Railway writer, with years of experience he is a fount of knowledge on all things transport nostalgia.

Others Also Read

Clives Curiosities

When Basford Gasworks, Nottingham, opened in the 1840s, railway wagons were moved around by means of capstans and wagon turntables. However, during the 1890s...

Clives Curiosities

For eight days during April 2009, railway enthusiasts and those perhaps keen to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane could book seats for...

Clives Curiosities

The date is Sunday 23 March 1958 and railway enthusiasts visiting Crewe Locomotive Workswere in for a surprise for there in the Works Yard...

Clives Curiosities

Until the late 1950s British Railways had cut up the majority of condemned locomotives at its ownworkshops. However, during the 1960s the Beeching Report,...


Copyright © 2024 iNostalgia, now part of CK Digital Media Ltd, With Content Optimisation by SEO Andy.
Articles & pages on this website may contain affiliate links, including but not not limited to Amazon.
This means by purchasing via link to these sites you will pay no more, you may get a discount, and you will support out website. On certain purchases via these links we get a small commission.