SKILLED craftsmen at Llangollen Railway have transformed a derelict coach body into a gleaming example of Edwardian mechanical brilliance.

The team of experts has just completed a major contract for the restoration of a steam railmotor dating from 1908 for the Great Western Society of Didcot in Oxfordshire.

The completed vehicle will be leaving Llangollen for its base at Didcot Railway Centre this week after nearly three years work.

The contract for the work was awarded to Llangollen Railway’s engineering department by the Great Western Society in 2008 as the final stage of its ambitious aim to recreate an example of a long-lost vehicle which once provided passenger services on branch lines of the Great Western Railway.

The department rebuilt much of the original fabric and installed appropriate features from the 1900s.

Speaking at the conclusion of the work on Steam Railmotor No 93, Llangollen’s chief engineer Dave Owen said: “This has been an interesting challenge. The project has required the application of traditional skills in engineering and coach building to turn a derelict coach into today’s finished product.

“Fortunately, the staff and facilities at Llangollen Railway provided the necessary expertise to undertake the work and we achieved success last week when the steam railmotor was operated for the benefit of the Great Western Society’s supporters who rode on it along the line from Llangollen to Carrog.”

No 93 is due to have a public launch at Didcot on May 28.