A MINI railway is preparing for its first renaming ceremony in 81 years.

Rhyl Miniature Railway on Marine Lake will host the event as part of a gala weekend on August 18-19, during which people will be able to ride on two restored antique trains.

A train formerly known as Red Dragon will be renamed Prince of Wales, while a second, The Railway Queen, will be rededicated after undergoing extensive repairs.

Built in Rhyl in 1921 when it was known as Michael, the latter was renamed at Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester in 1927.

The last previous naming of a locomotive in the town took place in 1937, when an LMS (London, Midland and Scottish) loco was christened 'Rhyl'.

Justin Bell, a trustee of the railway, said The Prince of Wales had been acquired from the Windmill Farm Railway at Burscough in Lancashire and contained parts from a train called The Prince Edward of Wales, which opened the Rhyl Miniature Railway in 1911.

The Railway Queen, which has been finished in the green livery of the Belle Vue track, has had to undergo extensive repairs in preparation for pulling passengers once again.

Mr Bell added: “The loco has been out of use since it came back from Llanfair PG, where it was on display in Pringle's Woollen Mill.

“To return it to steam has taken five years of work in which we stripped right back to just its frames and then started on putting it back together with new axles boxes on the driving wheels, and then new tyres on the wheels.

"We also had a new boiler made for her as the old one was life expired.
“So this is a big win for the railway after five years of work to see her running again after 29 years on the side line.

“When The Railway Queen ran at Belle Vue, they held a big event each year where they also crowned a Railway Queen, so we are going to be looking to crown our own Railway Queen at Rhyl."

The Rhyl Youth Marching Band will play as the miniature locomotives names are unveiled.

There will also be stalls selling crafts as well as offering information about the group and other events at the railway.

Train fares for the weekend are £3 adults and £1.50 for children, with rides running from 10.30am to 4pm.

The renaming ceremony will begin at midday on Saturday, August 18.