First, arrange visiting engines from all over the country. Include at least 2-3 big recognized names in this assortment.
Second, mix this with the home fleet of a Premier League heritage railway.
And finally, throw in as much Welsh weather as you can. Make it changable and be sure that no-one has any idea whats going to happen next.
This was the 6880 Betton Grange Society's 'Steel Steam & Stars Gala of 2012. And what a gala it was! With visiting engines including Tornado, Britannia and the Caledonian 828 to name a few this was a must attend. Then throw the home fleet, the scenic Llangollen Railway with the partial extension open, narrow gauge at Carrog and a show area at Glyndyfrdwy and your home free.
It has to be said that the timetable proved more than a challenge for the engines and crews to manage with several trains delayed or at the end, cancelled. But the sheer amount of movements going on, and other things around the railway meant that the majority had a fantastic time. I for one got plenty of photos, a giant burger, plenty of coffee, and only one real holdup (25-30 mins at the dee-side loop) to speak of.
The decision of the society not to publish an available public timetable without spending an extra fiver strangly benefited me. Whilst I may well of adjusted my plans if I'd known what train was supposed to be at any particular point, I didn't waste any time trying to figure out a timetable that was just about out of the window by the third train anyway. This meant more photos and more time to change location when required as it was more down to estimates than 'actual' times.
The first gallery is now up at http://chriskempster.zenfolio.com/p980971235.
The second is now up at: http://chriskempster.zenfolio.com/p666075363