4.27.2005

prototype Welsh locomotive


Ex Corris Railway 0-4-2 locomotive "Sir Haydn" on the 2'-3"gauge Talyllyn Railway (Nant Gwernol station), Wales, May 2004. The rake of coaches behind includes 1st and 2nd class cars and a baggage wagon. The TR is the oldest preserved railway in the world. I managed to convince my travelling companion that a side trip to Wales was only a short jaunt from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Thus I was able to see this living relic first-hand.

On the way up to the peak, we disembarked at the Dolgoch station and hiked up to the very picturesque Dolgoch Falls. Given that time was short we (sadly) stopped for only a while before walking back to the station along a path that passed under the ancient stone railway viaduct, 50 or 60 feet overhead.

At Nant Gwernol, the engine ran around the train and re-coupled to the downhill end. The jovial conductor sat in our open compartment and spoke of the local history in a wonderfully thick, Welsh accent (possibly only put on for the benefit of foreign visitors). We made it back to Tywyn Wharf (which is not on a body of water - a "wharf" in this case was the old standard gauge interchange platform) on the final train of the day.

Due to our late return, we just missed the Honeyed Ice-Cream factory visit in Tywyn. This did not sit well with my travelling companion, who had been looking forward to (and had been promised) the treat. I, however, was somehow looked upon with great favour and was gifted a shard of the slate roof of the original station circa 1865 by one of the historical society members. This was made possible due to the construction of the new museum building that will adjoin the old station, where some material had been dislodged in the process. I was (and still am) really pleased with this unforeseen present.

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