TY­WYN

Model Rail (UK) - - Masterplan Mixed Gauges -

If the North East is known as the ‘cra­dle of the railways’, then the Welsh sea­side town of Ty­wyn is the ‘cra­dle of rail­way preser­va­tion’. Tom Rolt dis­cov­ered that the 2ft 3in gauge Ta­lyl­lyn Rail­way was not dead (it was not in­cluded on the list of railways to be na­tion­alised) but had sim­ply been for­got­ten. The 7¼-mile line opened in 1865 to trans­port slate from the quar­ries at Bryn Eglwys down to the Aberys­t­wyth & Welsh Coast Rail­way (later Cam­brian Railways) main line. The quar­ries had been aban­doned for three years when Rolt paid a visit, but the rail­way was still run­ning… just!

The death of its owner prompted Rolt to rally some like-minded souls, who took the rail­way on them­selves from the spring of 1951. This in­spired other bands of en­thu­si­asts to take on railways, such as the mori­bund Fes­tin­iog Rail­way (as it was spelt at the time). The Ta­lyl­lyn Rail­way has gone from strength to strength in the sub­se­quent 66 years. It has be­come one of Wales’ premier nar­row gauge railways, con­vey­ing tourists to the foot of the old quarry in­cline at Nant Gw­er­nol, while Ty­wyn has be­come the home of the Nar­row Gauge Rail­way Mu­seum, with its unique col­lec­tion of arte­facts.

COLOUR RAIL Bax­ter. DAR­REN TURNER

Ty­wyn Wharf is bustling on Septem­ber 24 1966: ex-cor­ris Rail­way Kerr Stu­art 0-4-2ST No. 4 Ed­ward Thomas waits to run round its train, while EX-RAF Cal­shot An­drew Bar­clay No. 6 Dou­glas is topped up with wa­ter. Above: With the Pwll­he­li­machyn­l­leth main...

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