The Talyllyn Railway
52 33N 4 05W; UK National Grid Ref: SH 591009
Location: (Nant Gwernol)
52 37N 4W; UK National Grid Ref: SH 682067
Railway, Wharf Station, Tywyn,
Telephone: +44 (0)1654 710472
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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
The Talyllyn operates over 7¼ 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.
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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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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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.
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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)
- Sunday April 20th Easter Bunnies
- Tuesday May 27th Children's Duncan Day
- Thursdays June 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th Victorian Train (Dep Tywyn at 11.15am) several photostops and run-pasts, return to Tywyn by 3.45pm
- Thursdays July 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th Victorian Train (Dep Tywyn at 11.15am) several photostops and runpasts, return to Tywyn by 3.45pm
- Saturday July 5th and 6th Garden Railway Weekend
- Tuesday July 29th Evening Heritage train
- Wednesdays and Fridays in August Fish and Chip Specials
- Tuesday August 5th Traditional Craft Fair
- Tuesday August 6th Evening Whodunit train
- Thursday August 5th and 7th Traditional Craft fair
- Friday and Saturday August 8th and 9th Beerfest and Garden Railway. Evening meals available
- Tuesday August 12th Evening Floral train
- Thursday August 14th Teddy Bears' Picnic
- Saturday August 16th Race the Train (there is a Special timetable and accommodation is limited
- Tuesday August 19th Beer and BBQ evening train
- Thursday August 21st Children's Duncan Day
- Saturday August 23rd Young Volunteers Run the Railway to celebrate the continuing efforts of the Talyllyn's young Volunteers. Also Abergynolwyn Village Show
- Sunday August 24th Series One Land Rover Rally
- Wednesday August 24th Locomotive No 1 - 150th Birthday celebration
- Thursdays September 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th Victorian Train (Dep Tywyn at 11.15am) , several photostops and run-pasts, return to Tywyn by 3.45pm
- Thursday and Friday October 30th and 31st Halloween train and feast
- December 20th, 21st and 24th Santa Specials. Advance booking recommended
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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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
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