Vale of Rheidol Railway is offering the chance for people to fulfil their dreams and enjoy experiences never previously available.
A range of one-off opportunities will be auctioned on-line, with the proceeds helping the Registered Charity (No. 1076037) which runs the Mid-Wales line to weather the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the 11.75 mile line between Aberystwyth and Devil’s Bridge together with the amazing collection of narrow gauge locomotives which it owns are secure for years to come.
At the top of many wish-lists will be the opportunity to view the fantastic collection of steam locomotives and historic carriages saved from scrapping by the late Peter Rampton. Long known as ‘Collection X’ because the 40 plus items were not available for public viewing, the doors of Vale of Rheidol Railway’s Surrey store will be opened for two guided tours for two people hosted by VoR Chairman and CEO, Rob Gambrill.
Also up for auction are two behind the scenes tours of the sheds at Aberystwyth and Capel Bangor where further locomotives from ‘Collection X’ will be unveiled, in many cases for the first time since they arrived in Britain. These opportunities will be guided by VoR Manager and CME Llyr Ap Iolo.
Two full day experiences riding on the footplate of an iconic VoR 2-6-2T locomotive are also being offered, including the chance to join the crew during preparation and disposal of the locomotive. Also available is the chance to ride the length of the railway on the footplate of immaculately restored ex-quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST Margaret. One trip (on a set date in May) will be aboard the positioning move from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge where the loco spends the summer. The second will be the September move back down the line to Aberystwyth.
Other unique trips include a full-line return journey for two people in VoR’s Permaquip permanent way vehicle, reserving a private carriage (with seating for up to 35) for a round trip with the train carrying a personalised headboard and two guards experience days accompanying a guard from morning preparation to returning the carriages to the shed at the end of the day.
Further special experiences available include a guided journey over the line for up to five people with Ioan Lord, Director of the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust, expert on the rich mining heritage of the area around the railway and author of the authoritative work ‘Rich Mountains of Lead’.
Two personalised signed copies of Ioan Lord’s book are available in separate lots, as are two similarly personalised copies of a forthcoming 450-page book featuring 450 pages of never before published photographs. Due for publication in November, this promises to be the most comprehensive history of the Vale of Rheidol Railway yet published.
Two exclusive guided photography opportunities during a two-train timetable day with access to lineside locations normally only accessible during photo charters as part of a track walk are also on offer.
The on-line auction will commence on 25 September 2020 and run until 18 December 2020, offering the chance for someone to receive a truly unique Christmas present!
As well as the auction of experiences there is also a donation option for those who are able to help, the donation button is near the top of the auction site page.
Visit www.32auctions.com/rheidolrailway for full details and to place bids.