This bi-lingual Classic Locomotives of Wales Presentation Pack not only contains a host of information in Welsh and English, but also includes the Classic Locomotives of Wales Miniature Sheet and an array of archive images which railway historian David Gwyn looks at to showcase Wales' steam railways and the huge impact that steam locomotives had on Welsh history. It is one of many Presentation Packs to celebrate our nation's great history available to order from the Post Office Shop.
The first Welsh railway dates from before the end of the 17th century. Built to serve collieries and smelting works, by the 1830 there were hundreds of miles of track, carrying iron, coal, stone and slate to canals and harbours, or bringing timber, corn and cider from the border lands. Many of these railways were very different from the present system and ran simple, flangeless wheels on L-section rails.
As traffic increased, locomotives began to take over from horses as the motive power. The world's first known use of a steam railway locomotive was on the Merthyr-Tramroad in 1804.
The Neath Abbey Ironworks near Swansea constructed several ingenious locomotives from 1829 onwards for service in South Wales, while others were purchased from English builders, including Robert Stephenson in Newcastle. Before long, the major English railway companies, the London and North Western (LNWR) and the Great Western (GWR), were drawing up plans to extend into Wales.
The Special Stamps feature:
1st Class Stamp - LMS No. 7720: Built in 1895 at the Crewe Works for the London and North Western Railway, the LMS "coal tank" is pictured leaving Britannia Bridge, pulling a Bangor-to-Holyhead local train in around 1930.
78p Stamp - Hunslet No. 589 Blanche: Shows Blanche at the Pen Cob Halt on the Ffestiniog Railway in 1964. The locomotive was originally made for the Penrhyn Slate Quarry by the Leeds based Hunslet Engine Company. The narrow gauge Ffestiniog railway took slate to the harbour at Porthmadog.
88p Stamp - WLLR No. 822: The Earl Photographed waiting for a car to be moved from the line on Welshpool's Union Street in 1953, The Earl was constructed by Beyer Peacock of Manchester for the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway in 1902.
£1.28 Stamp - BR 5600 No. 5652: The BR 5600 freight engine was designed by the Great Western Railway Company to transport goods across its massive rail network from Machynlleth to Pwllheli. The stamp shows the loco pulling coal at Cwmbargoed in 1959.
Release Date: 20th February 2014