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The Talyllyn Railway

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Location: (Tywyn)
52 33N 4 05W; UK National Grid Ref: SH 591009
Location: (Nant Gwernol)

52 37N 4W; UK National Grid Ref: SH 682067

Talyllyn Railway, Wharf Station, Tywyn,
Gwynedd, United Kingdom. LL36 9EY

Telephone: +44 (0)1654 710472
Fax: +44 (0)1654 711755
E-mail: enquiries@talyllyn.co.uk

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Scroll down the page or click on subject heading to move directly to Talyllyn Railway topics.
History....The line today....Locomotives and rolling stock ....Days, times and fares....How to get there

The Talyllyn Railway - one of The Great Little Trains of Wales, a group of Welsh narrow gauge railways which offers bargain travel through its Discount Card scheme - celebrates its 60th Jubilee this year, and a number of anniversary events are planned.
The Talyllyn operates over 7 miles of 2ft 3in gauge track along the Fathew Valley from Tywyn Wharf near the coast of Cardigan Bay, to Nant Gwernol, three miles from the lake which gives the railway its name.
Much of the route is within the Snowdonia National Park, and leaflets are available detailing scenic walks from many of the stations.

The Talyllyn Railway features in the Green Guide to the Dyfi Valley, which highlights the use of environmentally friendly initiatives in the tourism industry. Those adopted by the Talyllyn include the use of solar cells to power signalling equipment at Brynglas and Quarry Siding, using timber from a sustainable local forest, new composting toilets at Dolgoch, and filling the boilers of its steam locomotives with water from the river.
Copies of the Guide may be obtained from the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT), which is devoted to practical demonstration of renewable energy, energy conservation and recycling technology. Among CAT's attractions is a water-powered cliff railway, and the Centre offers half-price admission to visitors arriving by cycle, or travelling to the district by train.
There is a link to CAT's web site at the end of this page.

History

The line opened in October 1865, and it is surprising to learn that it still uses two of the original locomotives and coaching stock. In fact three of the locos are over a century old. The Victorian train run on certain Saturdays offers the unique experience of travelling in the original coaches behind an original Victorian locomotive.
The line was the first narrow gauge railway to be designed to be operated with steam locomotives, and was built (like many of the narrow gauge railways in North Wales, including the Corris Railway) to serve the slate industry, but also carried passengers almost from the outset. The line ran only as far as Abergynolwyn, from where Bryn Eglwys quarry was reached by cable-worked inclines.
The quarry closed in 1946, but the railway's owner pledged to keep the line open for as long as he lived. He died in 1950, but the line was saved from closure by a group of enthusiasts who formed a preservation society (the world's first) dedicated to safeguarding its future.

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The railway today

The Talyllyn Railway at Brynglas Since 1950, determination and hard work has resulted in the attractive railway of today, with its locomotives' brasswork glinting in the sunlight and its kempt stations.

Stations
(A book, Talyllyn Railway Walks, is available detailing walks of up to 4 hours' duration from some of the stations)

Tywyn (Wharf), the main station on the Talyllyn, has refreshment rooms and souvenir shop  with car park and toilet facilities.
It is also the location of the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum with free admission. Celebrating the Museum's 50th anniversary, it charts the development of the exhibits from modest beginnings to the present day. Over seventy railway companies are represented, and displays, artefacts, locos and wagons record the 200-year history of narrow gauge railways in Great Britain and Ireland.
Pendre was the old passenger station on the route (Tywyn Wharf was used for the transfer of slate to the national rail network). The Railway's locomotive sheds and engineering works are located here. The Walks book describes a 4-hour walk to the banks of the River Dysynni.
Rhydyronen serves the hamlet of the same name, and caravan and camping sites. Three of the walks described in the book start from here, one to another section of the River Dysynni, one to Pendre, and another is a woodland walk to Brynglas, the next station up the line.
Brynglas (pictured above) is the base for a strenuous walk to the summit of Trum-gelli.
Dolgoch is a popular halt by virtue of its proximity to the Dolgoch ravine. A web of trails and footpaths lead though woodland to a series of waterfalls, with walks ranging in length from 30 minutes to over two hours. There is also a walk to Bird Rock, a craggy outcrop overlooking the Dysynni Valley, and another to Abertrinant. A picnic site is close to the station.
Abergynolwyn is the main inland station on the Talyllyn, with a railway adventure children's playground, a refreshment room, shop, toilets and car park. The station has picnic tables on the platform, and is the start of a forest walk and of two circular walks, one via the Dysynni Gorge and one to Castell-y-Bere.
Nant Gwernol has been the terminus since the line was extended in 1976, and is situated in a ravine which has no road access. It is, however, the starting point for a series of walks which take in the surrounding woodland and relics of the slate industry to which the railway owes it existence.

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Locos and Rolling Stock

The Talyllyn's collection of locomotive and coaches comprise what could be called a living museum: artefacts a century old, yet still fulfilling the purpose for which they were made. Two of the locos (Nos 3 and 4) worked the Corris Railway (2ft 3in gauge being relatively rare) and were brought to the Talyllyn in 1951.

Steam Locomotives

Diesel Locomotives

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Days, times and fares 2014

 There is an error in the notes of above table. Duncan or one of his friends hauls two of the trains on the Pink days stated, but the timings may vary.

Special events 2014
(Special Times and fares apply)

Fares 2014

Full Line Day Rover (unlimited travel from any station on day of issue)
Adult 14.50; Over 60s 13.00; Accompanied children 5-15 years 2.00; Unaccompanied Child travels for Half adult fare; Dogs 3.00
Eight Day Runabout tickets Adult 43.50, Over 60s 39.00, Accompanied children 5-15 years 6.00; Unaccompanied children travel for half adult fare
Travel First Class for a supplement of 2.00 (adults) or 1.00 Children

There is a 20% reduction for Disabled passengers and their carers.
Reduced fares are also available for parties of 15 and over.

There are individual fares between different stations, and a small charge for bicycles. Dogs are conveyed in the compartment with the owner, provided other passengers do not object.

There are also 'Donation Fares'. Visitors pay standard fares, but receive a 2.39 voucher to spend in the cafe and shops, saving 94p on the basic fare.

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How to get there

Tywyn is on the A493 road north of the Dovey estuary.
The Talyllyn Railway's Tywyn (Wharf) station is a quarter-of-a-mile from the Cambrian Coast Line station of Tywyn.
Abergynolwyn station is off the B4405 road between Tywyn and Talyllyn Lake.
For details of connecting bus services, including travel planner and timetables, visit the Traveline Cymru website.

Select this link to access the Talyllyn Railway's web site, or here for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
Select this link to access the Centre for Alternative Technology's web site.

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Copyright 1996/7/8/9/2000/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 /12/13/14 by Deryck Lewis. Photograph copyright 1994. All rights reserved.
Page created July 14 1996; Redesigned March 29 1999; Last updated March 24 2014
If you have any suggestions, comments, or glitches to report, please contact the author at WalesRails