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Talyllyn Railway

Category: Narrow Gauge Railway


Talyllyn Railway
Wharf Station
LL36 9EY

Tel: 01654 710472

The Talyllyn Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Talyllyn) is a narrow-gauge preserved railway 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, significantly 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.

The origin of the railway's name is uncertain: it may refer to the parish of Talyllyn, which contains its eastern terminus, or it may come from Tal-y-llyn, a large glacial ribbon lake at the foot of Cadair Idris 3 miles (4.8 km) further east. The 2 feet 3 inches (686 mm) gauge of the track is unusual, and was shared by only three other public railways in the United Kingdom: the nearby Corris Railway (which predated the Talyllyn), and the subsequent Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway and Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway.

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.

Source: Talyllyn Railway at Wikipedia

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