Tag Archives: Talyllyn Railway

Some early Lines – Talyllyn Railway

 Talyllyn Railway

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

Dolgoch Station  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Abergynolwyn (English: Mouth of the River with a Whirlpool) is a village in southern Gwynedd, Wales, located at the confluence of the Nant Gwernol and the Afon Dysynni.H.C.Casserley

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

Some Early Lines – The Corris Railway

Some Early Lines

Google Maps – Corris is at point A, the railway ran from north of that point to Machynlleth and originally to Derwenlas.

The Corris Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway based in Corris on the border between Gwynedd and Powys in Mid-Wales. The line opened in 1859, and originally ran from Machynlleth north to Corris and on to Aberllefenni. Branches served the slate quarries at Corris Uchaf, Aberllefenni, the isolated quarries around Ratgoed and quarries along the length of the Dulas Valley

The railway closed in 1948, but a preservation society was formed in 1966, initially opening a museum; a short section of line between Corris and Maespoeth was re-opened to passengers in 2002. The railway now operates as a tourist attraction.  A new steam locomotive was built for the railway, which was delivered in 2005. The two surviving locomotives, plus some of the original rolling stock, are preserved on the nearby Talyllyn Railway.

The gauge of the railway is 2 ft 3 in (686 mm).

(Wikipedia)

O.S.Nock

The Corris Railway

I paid my only – to date – visit to this railway in around 1976/77, when I think there was only the museum open.  Although I spent a fair amount of time in Mid-Wales over the next 25 years or so my interest in heritage lines had not been ignited at that time, so another visit was just one of those things which did not happen.  Nowadays, in retirement, a great deal of my spare time is spent on museum stuff for our local heritage line, but I have always followed news about the Corris Railway with interest.

I came across a magazine with an article about the Cannock Chase Railway and found a paragraph about the Corris Railway – including a few photographs. I shall repeat the paragraph here:

From ‘The Railway Magazine’

November/December 1948

Price  2/-  (10p)

The Corris Railway

When we closed for press with our September-October issue, the fate of the Corris Railway was in some doubt, for, although the ‘Montgomery County Times’ of July 31 had definitely announced its closure to all traffic, the Western Region was unable to confirm this officially.  Actually, the statement appears to be premature, but on August 24, the Liverpool DailyPost’ stated that the line had been closed on the previous day.  Even this closure has not been confirmed officially, mainly, we understand, because of uncertainty as to what ‘closure’ means.  The last goods train ran on August 20, since when traffic has been suspended, and is unlikely to be resumed.  Part of the line has suffered from flood damage, and costly repairs would be necessary to restore traffic.  When the Corris Railway was opened in 1859 as a horse tramroad, it extended from the slate quarries to the shores of the River Dovey.  When the Cambrian Railways were built in the neighbourhood in 1863, trans-shipment arrangements were made at Machynlleth, and the portion of the Corris Railway thence to the river at Derwenlas was abandoned.


Chasewater Railway Museum Aug 1965 Bits & Pieces 30

This post is taken from the Mercian of August 1965 Vol.4 No.4

One of the longest Mercians so far, but the first three pages were taken up by an article on railway preservation in general in the early days – I’m afraid that I didn’t manage to read it all.

There are three articles which I shall reproduce, two about other branch lines and one about steam locomotive classes from a ‘leisurely’ era.

This post just contains the officers’ reports, which give an indication of progress being made by the Midlands Area of the Railway Preservation Society, especially concerning the transfer to Chasewater.

From the Chairman’s Report. – A.L.Holden

Since my last report, developments have been going ahead at Chasewater, the track, having been inspected by a British Railways Permanent Way Ganger, was found to be in better condition than hoped. Weeding and general tidying up has been started by various members but more willing hands are needed to help carry on this operation.

A meeting will be held at the Lamb and Flag Hotel, Little Haywood to discuss track maintenance with a professional P. Way ganger.

The proposed visit to the Talyllyn Railway will take place on Sunday, September 5th – tickets priced at 15/- (75p).

Changing ends, Nant Gwernol

Nant Gwernol station is the end of the line for the Talyllyn Railway and the locomotive is run round the coaches to pull them back down to Tywyn Wharf.

© Copyright E.Gammie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Secretary’s Report – D.A.Ives

Our open weekend held on the 19th and 20th June was a reasonable success.  A lot of members’ faces were absent, but a very grateful vote of thanks to all who helped.  These I may add were the usual working party, committee members and wives.  Several new members were enrolled, this is always encouraging.

Special mention should be made of the interest that was shown at the Kingsmead Secondary School, Hednesford ‘After School Activities Exhibition’, some 30 societies exhibiting, including the RPS.  Some good work was put in by school members of the RPS, Brian Hames and Frank Craddock, in manning our stand.  A very good job has been done by Stephen Ferreday in casting an axlebox cover for the Maryport & Carlisle Railway coach; this is an extremely good replica of the original.  We’re all very indebted to these junior members.

We hope to announce some definite progress re. Chasewater building in the near future and we do appeal to any members who have time on their hands during the summer school holidays to write in and offer their services.  Mention must be made here of the very useful restoration work put in by Mike Lewis, Vivian Miles and Maurice Harper during their annual holiday.  We are most grateful to these members for the giving of their time.

A special membership drive is envisaged in the near future, a membership build-up being vital in order that the Chasewater project can be carried through to its successful conclusion.  The success stands or falls by the determination of society members.

Treasurer’s Report – F.J.Harvey

Generally speaking, the year has been quite a good one but we do need more members.  This is where everyone in the Society can play a part.  Our nucleus of working members have, over the past few years, introduced a number of people to the Society.  It would be a great help if people who lived some distance from the depot could recruit more members in their own area, even if they cannot visit us very often.  We do not expect everyone to come and work at the depot each week although we are delighted to see new faces.

Please go round to your friends who may be interested and sign them up.  It’s their subscription we want when all said and done!  Some people offer the lame excuse that they cannot join the society because they are unable to take an active part.  This is ridiculous! If everyone adopted this attitude there would be no railway preservation societies of any sort.  Everyone can help in some way or other and recruitment of new members is as good as any.  If you know of anyone interested, write to the editor and ask him to send details.

The more money we have, the more we can preserve, and the sooner we shall have our own working railway.

Chasewater Secretary’s Report – E.W.Barlow

In this, my first report to you, I am pleased to be able to say that the negotiations regarding the financing of the building at Chasewater have been satisfactorily completed.

The target date for the Museum at Chasewater is April 1966.  This gives us only a short time in which to complete the building and to prepare the track.

We must have the assistance of every member who is able to help at Chasewater as often as possible.  Would all members who are willing to help at Chasewater let me know and I will be able to give details of the working party arrangements.

Laurence Hodgkinson

North Staffordshire Meetings

At the June meeting, where Mr. Gibson gave a lecture on the North Eastern Railway, I was disappointed with the attendance.  After much research work, Mr. Gibson’s efforts were heard by only about twelve people, and I hope that he was not too greatly embarrassed by this.

At the meeting on August 31st, Mr. C.A.Moreton will be motoring from Coventry to give a lecture on the North Staffordshire Railway.  He is an authority on this subject and I hope to see a great number of new faces there.