The Talyllyn Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway in Wales running for 7.25 miles (11.67 km) from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage. Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers. Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages. In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.No.4 Edward Thomas at Tywyn Wharf Station Creative Commons CC-BY-SA
The fictional Skarloey Railway, which formed part of the Railway Series of children’s books by The Rev. W Awdry, was based on the Talyllyn Railway. The preservation of the line inspired the Ealing Comedy film ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’.Train in Fathew Valley – Creative Commons CC-BY-SA
Historically, the village was part of Merionethshire and its main industry was slate quarrying and the village was founded in the 1860s to house workers at the nearby Bryn Eglwys quarry. Today farming, forestry and tourism are the major local industries.
The village pub, the Railway Inn, is named after the Talyllyn Railway whose narrow gauge branch once reached into the heart of the village down an incline from a ledge on the hillside above. The railway now terminates at Nant Gwernol station above the village, although for many years the terminus was at Abergynolwyn Station outside the village.The village incline – Abergynolwyn