Worldwide Narrow Gauges > UK (Welsh, British) Two Footers

70 years of Talyllyn Railway


Wayne Laepple:
The Talyllyn Railway in Wales celebrated its 70th anniversary as a preserved railway this past Friday. Here's a YouTube that records the event. Someday the WW&F will do the same!

Dag Bonnedal:
We really owe them everything, as a the great inspiration for what could be done in spite of impossible odds.
I do hope that every volunteer at every museum railway reads Tom Rolt's classic book Railway Adventure about the pioneering years at Talyllyn, it is priceless.
There are many stories about the hardships to overcome. Like when they dropped the whole grate down on the track (no ashpan) and The Old Lady was the only self propelled vehicle on the line. Quickly uncoupling the loco from the train and set of for the workshop, leaving the passengers to walk back. Repairing the grate during the night and pick up the train the next morning. Business as usual. Or when the boiler inspector inspected the boiler of the The Old Lady, drilled a hole in the barrel, found it sound enough and drew a screw into the hole. Some years later the boiler was sent off for overhaul and it was found that the screw sat in the only spot with thick enough plate. Or when they with tremendous effort bought the only two additional locos of the same gauge from the neighbouring closed down railway. Repaired one of them over the first winter and with great expectation tested it the next spring. It derailed at least one time per rail length!

When we started eight years later, Talyllyn (and Ffestiniog) were the big inspirations that made it possible. The story goes that we had a visitor volunteering at Ffestiniog and to be very polite he remarked: Your track does not look too much worse than Talyllyn's.

For you that are involved with the workshop and technical work, the book written by John Bates (from the video) The Chronicles of Pendre Siding is also highly recommendable.
Unfortunately, it seems hard to get at


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