Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday 20 June - Talyllyn Railway

It was raining when I left for the station this morning but the forecast was for clearing and some sun on the Welsh coast. So it turned out to be and one of the great advantages was that being a Monday the trains were all fairly empty.  Arriva Trains Wales only provided a two car train from Shrewsbury which was destined for Aberystwyth so I had to change to another train for the Pwllheli line at Machynlleth.  The ride through Central Wales is always a delight and I thought of the long slog that east bound trains had to face up Talerddig bank.  The train left Machynlleth on time and we passed the Osprey's nest near Dovey Junction and started up the Cambrian Coast as far as Tywyn.

At Tywyn I bought my ticket for the 1215 train and bought a very thick cheese and ham sandwich at the cafe. This train was the second one of the day and I was delighted to see that No. 1 "Tal Y Llyn" would be the locomotive. This is one of the two original locomotives having been built at Whitehaven in 1864. It is exquisite.

I went right up to the end of the line at Nant Gwernol (8 miles) where Tal Y Llyn ran round its train and returned to Abergynolwyn where there was a 30 minute refreshment break.
Nant Gwernol
Running round at Nant Gwernol
I had a short chat with the fireman.  The footplate is very clean and well polished
I rode back in the rear car with a good view out of the back.
Slate fences are a distinctive feature of the area.
At Brynglas we passed an up train hauled by Edward Thomas a relative youngster built in 1921 for the Corris Railway.
There are a lot of sheep in this valley which once also supported a thriving slate business.  I saw several red kites hovering over the fields looking for prey.
Passing Pendre works
A locomotive from the Guinness brewery at Dublin in the Museum. This narrow gauge locomotive could be run into a wide gauge waggon where it engaged with a mechanism to turn it into a wide gauge locomotive - a gauge changing steam locomotive.
A Welsh quarry locomotive in the museum
Back at the main station I watched this Pwllheli bound train arrive and caught the train back to Shrewsbury. 

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