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NEWSLETTER Volume 2 Issue 3 — November 2011


Santa is on his way!

Santa Specials


Wharf Weighbridge


Garden Railway


Engineering Report


Drive a steam train


Hungry? When you are visiting the Talyllyn Railway don't forget to pop in to King’s Licensed Café on Tywyn Wharf station. Quality food and a friendly service: open for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea. The bar is open during the day with ales wines and spirits.

Plans are underway for this year‟s Santa Specials and bookings are coming in well. The price structure has changed this winter with Adults at £8.00 and Children at £10.00 which includes a quality gift from Santa. Santa and his elves are busy in their workshop getting all of the presents made for the visit to Tywyn with Santa arriving early on the 18th December in time for the first train at 11.00am. Santa will be waiting for the children off the train at his grotto at Plas Nadolig where the parents will be greeted with a mince pie and some seasonal punch! The elves will also be in attendance and a silver band will be playing your favourite carols for 20 minutes before the train departs from Tywyn. As the train makes its way from Tywyn to Plas Nadolig the children will be entertained by a „Spot Santa‟ competition and you must keep a good lookout for the reindeers grazing in the adjoining fields! If you have never experienced the Santa Specials before then do come along and enjoy the fun, the carriages are heated and decorated to get you into the Christmas spirit and the train will be hauled by a steam engine taking you on a magical journey to see Santa! Enjoy pictures with Santa at Plas Nadolig before your train returns to Tywyn. The experience should last approx 1hr 30mins. Remember King‟s Licensed Cafe will be open at Tywyn serving seasonal hot meals and the Shop will be open for those last minute Christmas gifts. A big friendly welcome awaits and we look forward to seeing you all! Happy Christmas

One of The Great Little Trains of Wales

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Wharf weighbridge reinstated

Narrow Gauge Railway Museum When visiting the Talyllyn pop in and pay us a visit at Tywyn Wharf station. There are artefacts and displays telling the story of Narrow Gauge Railways across the UK and Ireland. Also a recreation of the Rev W Awdry’s study, where he wrote the Railway series of children's books. Admission is free.

Exhibit locomotive ‘Dot’

Talyllyn Treats Special VIP Days Out Tour the museum, Lunch in King‟s Cafe, tour of the workshops and sheds a locomotive footplate ride and first class travel. All in one day!

The volunteers working on the restoration of one of the most historical features on the Talyllyn Railway have a lot to celebrate this week as four years of hard work have come to a successful end. The weighbridge, situated in a quiet corner of the busy Tywyn Wharf Station was wrongly removed in 1964 when a change in the platform layout meant that they were left with no track or platform to reach this magnificent machine. Back in 1865 when the railway was first opened as transportation facility Tywyn Wharf was no more than a haulage site, very different to what we see today, and the weighbridge was a main artefact here. Mainline steam trains would deliver tonnes of coal to the Talyllyn, then would be offloaded on site and transferred into trucks by the ton. To make sure they had exactly a ton the workers would then haul the trucks to the weighbridge for a precise measurement. Once they were satisfied with this the coal was then transported to of Abergynolwyn where it was distributed round the village. Sat around the freshly lit coal fire with the volunteers of the project I instantly felt part of the team and it was full of positive vibes, their happy banter and smiles showed just how pleased they were with how the restoration had gone. All together the work took four years, with all the team that was present putting full effort in for only two weeks of each year. Bob Denton also said “Eventually the plan is to make this a working weighbridge, the engineering manager at Pendre would like to measure the carriage stock with this machine and over the summer months visitors will be able to see how it is used and even shown how much they weigh!” So with that if you are intrigued and want to find out more about this wonderful Victorian machine don’t hold back in asking any of our volunteers who will be happy to show you how it works and give you a guided tour of the hut itself. Leonie Jenkins

Stay in touch with the Talyllyn Railway: On Facebook and on Twitter

Newsletter 2.2



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Once again the Autumn leaves and apples fall onto the Llechfan trackbed at the end of our summer season. Late summer has seen some new visitors to the Garden, and the welcome return of some familiar faces. The distance record set by a visit from the Outer Hebrides earlier this year has now been thoroughly beaten by the two editors of „Rails in the Garden‟ magazine from Australia joined us for a run in mid September. Early October saw the publication of „Making Model Buildings for Garden Railways‟ which is the last book by the late Peter Jones. Restoration work on many of the Compton Down buildings at Llechfan provided the practical experience needed for me to write the final third of the text left to find when he died in 2009. Very many thanks to Richard for agreeing to stock the finished article in the Talyllyn shop. The buildings themselves have started to beat a retreat out of the path of the coming winter. The welcome offer of some storage space in a unit over at Morfa Camp with Chris (Trenarren Models) has been grabbed with enthusiasm and 5 buildings now nestle there warm & dry awaiting a little TLC. Standing at just under 4 feet high the biggest and most recent arrival in the Garden, the Watermill, will stay put with a tarp overcoat to keep the worst of the weather out. The winter works on Wharf cutting and resulting drainage from the yard above should establish a new water level in the pond and hopefully the tide should be „in‟ a lot more of the time. We may even get a stream to turn the waterwheel. The church of St Bunny‟s and the less vulnerable buildings made from plastic will continue to stay in service, as will the track, so the winter will continue. Kes Jones

The Llechfan Garden Railway is a 16mm/foot scale garden railway located on the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, Gwynedd. Built in the garden at the rear of the Railway’s volunteer hostel Llechfan, the 32mm gauge line has around 180 yards of main running line consisting of two circuits (a low level circuit of 40 yards and a more recent higher level circuit of 90 yards, both of which are level) linked by a steeply inclined (1 in 35) branch line. For more information including opening times go to

Great Little Trains of Wales Discount Card For just £10 our Discount Card entitles the holder to 20% off one adult full round trip fare on normal timetabled trains on the participating Railways listed on the card. Discount Cards are valid for 12 months from the date the first journey is made. Not only that, but we have also managed to arrange discounts for Great Little Trains of Wales Card Holders with selected accommodation providers close to many of our member railways. This makes the card a real bargain!

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The World’s First Preserved Railway Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway, Gorsaf Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd. LL36 9EY. Phone 01654 710472 Fax 01654 711755 enquiries@ newsletter@

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As is normal for this time of year Pendre works is at the start of its round of loco and carriage maintenance to ensure that everything is fit for another years operation. The locomotives are being prepared for their annual checks by the boiler inspector and the whole carriage fleet is undergoing its bi annual brake inspection. Loco 6 “Duncan” is still in the works, undergoing a complete from the ground rebuild, and should be back in service next year. Loco 7 “Tom Rolt” is having major work undertaken this winter with new valves and liners fitted to illuminate wear and hopefully reduce coal and water consumption. Carriage no.1, one of the original Talyllyn carriages, is having new tyres fitted to its wheels; the old ones are believed to be over 100 years old. Outdoors the winter‟s major project is the complete replacement of the track between Wharf and Pendre. This is a large job and has to be completed in time for the Santa specials. So far all is going to plan, 600 sleepers need laying, 1000 yards of rail need securing with 2500 track screws and clips and all this needs aligning and levelling and then packed with over 100 tons of ballast. Let‟s hope the winter conditions are kind to us. Once the track work is finished, and after the New Year, a complete new drainage system will be installed and hopefully, other than routine maintenance, we will not have to revisit this section of track for another 30 years or so. Martin Turner

DRIVE A STEAM TRAIN Are you looking for a extra special gift for someone ? A Talyllyn driver experience could be that gift. Accompanied and guided by an experienced Talyllyn Driver, the guest will take the regulator of one of our famous locomotives from the shed at Tywyn Pendre for either one or two trips to the end of the line at Nant Gwernol and back. There are two available, a single trip evening and a longer all day experience. As they make great gifts, they are quite often used for surprise presents. In these cases we can arrange a gift certificate to arrive in an unmarked envelope, so we don't give the game away. We have even had someone get as far as the locomotive shed before the surprise was revealed. Thank you for giving us your email address when you filled in a survey form on the Talyllyn Railway. This is the latest of our occasional newsletters, in which we aim to provide information on the many aspects of the Railway. If you would like to see more, less or different items in future editions please let us know. If you do not want to receive future newsletters, please email us at and we'll remove you from the mailing list. Your email address is held solely to enable us to send you our newsletter and will not be used for any other purpose. If you are not on our list and would like your name to be added just send your email address to Ray Reid

Talyllyn Railway Newletter November 2011  
Talyllyn Railway Newletter November 2011  

Talyllyn Railway Newsletter. Find out what has been happening in Autumn 2011 and what we have comming up at Christmas.