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2017 August - Race the Train on the Talyllyn Railway

The 34th annual Tywyn Rotary Club Race the Train event took place on Saturday 19 August.


There was a slight element of drama before the race this year. The Friday evening engineering train had left Pendre around 6.30 to do some work up the line. By the time they returned, extremely heavy rains had caused the stream at Cynfal to overflow over the track, depositing debris and mud. The track was impassable and for the first time in many years, a steam engine was marooned east of Pendre and had to spend the night outdoors at Brynglas. The crew and gang members were rescued by road.

Early on Saturday morning a small gang headed to Cynfal to investigate. The stream had thankfully receded overnight. The gang had a lot of debris and mud to clear up in and around the streambed and track. Thanks to their efforts they were able to reopen the line in time for the first train of the day, the Quarry Challenge train.

No 6 Douglas’ crew also had a challenge – get to Brynglas to light up their engine in time to bring it down to Pendre for their train! Fortunately the Fireman drives a Land Rover so was happy to fill the back up with rags, wood and cleaning materials and head to Brynglas. Bringing No 6 down ‘light engine’ also gave them a chance to check the line out.

Happily all went well for the races on Saturday. Friday’s torrential rain had stopped and the weather was cool and cloudy. Around 1,500 competitors took part in the various races including 830 who ran in the main 14 mile Rotary Challenge race. Congratulations to everyone who competed – the course was very muddy in places and looked hard going.

Many thanks as always to the organisers and volunteers who work very hard to make this race happen. The atmosphere in Tywyn on Race the Train day is amazing, the town is buzzing and everyone involved seems to have a brilliant time.

Find out the winners, times and course information on the Race the Train website –

Photos courtesy of Barbara Fuller and Karen Willans.

No 2 Dolgoch and the Race Train headboard get a final polish

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 August 2017

Press Release - Talyllyn Railway Aims To Save Lives

The Talyllyn Railway recently took delivery of the first three defibrillators which will be installed along the Railway.


Working in partnership with Achub Calon Y Dyffryn, which is working to increase the number of defibrillators available in the North Wales area, the Railway has been raising money to purchase the life saving equipment to be installed at various stations along the line.

Initially the defibrillators will be installed at Wharf, Pendre and Dolgoch stations, but it is hoped to be able to add other locations in due course. The first to be installed will be at Dolgoch station and it is hoped to be able to hold an official commissioning as part of the Railway’s Late Night Steam event on Saturday 25 August 2017. After they are installed training sessions will be held so that as many staff and volunteers as possible will feel confident to use them.

Lorraine Simkiss, the Railway’s Customer Experience Manager, who has been responsible for the fundraising for the equipment comments:

‘We are so grateful to all those who have contributed so generously, which include members of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and the Rotary Club of Tywyn, and have allowed us to purchase these first three defibrillators. We actually hope they never have to be used, but if required we believe they will help to save lives.’

The photo shows Lorraine Simkiss accepting the first three defibrillators from Tomos Hughes of Achub Calon Y Dyffryn at Tywyn Wharf station.

Photo by Ian Drummond.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk.


Lorraine Simkiss and Tomos Hughes with the new defibrillators at Wharf Sation

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 August 2017

Containers by Rail

Another busy – and occasionally very damp – weekend has seen progress on various projects. The restoration work on Motor Rail 1320 has slowed just for the moment whilst we await supply of a critical part in the re-assembly of the loco. So, the main project has been improving rail access to a container which contains a number of the operational locos. Road tailings have been railed to site – which is inaccessible to everything except foot and rail – and tipped to improve the ground conditions. A set of points was then brought in and unloaded using a combination of experience and gravity. The points have a very shallow crossing angle, so the tracks diverge slowly; this is essential, because the tracks are not far apart in the container. The approach to the points was also re-laid to remove a particularly hideous rail joint. The final step will be to assemble the tracks leading to the container doors, and the “bridge” sections needed to allow the doors to open and close.
In between all this, we also welcomed a party from the RCTS, and even ran a railtour for the more resilient member of the party!

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 20 August 2017


A big thank you to everyone who came along last weekend with their bears/unicorns/meerkats (delete as seen fit). Our next Event Day at the railway will be Classic Cars and Steam Trains day on August 27th. It would seem that one of the Classic Car magazines contains an error, and the error says that the event is on the 17th which is this Thursday! Whilst I am sure that our friends at the Apedale Heritage Centre would be delighted to see you on Thursday, I’m afraid their will be neither trains nor old cars!

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 15 August 2017

An apology

A small apology….unfortunately, we will be running the trains on Sunday using a heritage diesel locomotive rather than the expected steam loco. We are still running trains and we are still looking forward to seeing lots of children with their bears!
This change is because of a shortage of qualified volunteers on this day. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause – we are a 100% volunteer railway, and this shows why we are always looking for new members. If you are interested in becoming a member, check out the information or come along and have a chat.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 11 August 2017

2017 August - Talyllyn Railway Victorian Weekend and Flower Train

Over the weekend we held our Victorian Weekend, an opportunity for travellers, staff and volunteers to dress up in their finery. 


Revellers at Wharf were also able to partake of one of the several ales and ciders available at the Beer Festival, while listening to a traditional fairground organ and watching steam trains pootle by. Younger visitors were encouraged to try out the Victorian Schoolroom in the Slater Room and enjoy the Railway Children Theatre performance in the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.

Up at Abergynolwyn visitors took part in typical Victorian craft activities (the entertainment of the day!), including making rag rugs, peg dolls, toy boats and trying decoupage and sampler work. Hopscotch and marbles lessons were also available.

On Tuesday evening the Annual Floral Train went up the line. It was, as always, beautifully decorated by Tywyn Garden Club. The Cor Meibion Bro Dysynni Male Voice Choir entertained everyone at Abergynolwyn.

Photos by Barbara Fuller, Rob Langham and Darren Turner.



No 1 Talyllyn at Wharf - a typical scene over our Victorian Weekend
A Victorian garbed Guard checking tickets at Wharf
Waving the train off at Wharf
Trying out the Victorian Schoolroom in the Slater Room at Wharf
The Shandmason Steam Fire Engine from Cheshire Fire Brigade at Wharf
Victorian passengers trying out one of our more new-fangled carriages
Demonstrating Victorian crafts at Abergynolwyn
Our Victorian passengers pose with No 7 Tom Rolt at Abergynolwyn
No 1 Talyllyn approaches Rhydyronen with the beautifully decorated Floral Train
The Floral Train at Rhydyronen on 8 August

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 10 August 2017

Diesel Delights

It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that the king of the railway Internal Combustion engine is the Diesel (or, if you are from Lincoln, the “Oil Engine”). To be fair, the Diesel Delights event – October 7 & 8 – will feature both compression-ignition and spark-ignition IC locos. However, that really doesn’t make for a snappy event title, does it? One loco which will hopefully feature is the newly-repaired Hunslet “Twusk”, seen having a run out at the weekend before slumbering in a container for a while. The event organisers have decided that, with over 60 IC locos on site, we need a few more – just not enough choice. So, we are expecting a few arrivals in the next few weeks, both permanent residents and visitors. In the latter category is Motor Rail 11258, a 60HP loco which is the twin of resident No.13. MR11258 was also at Pilkington’s Glass sand pits, as their No.12. So, we’ll have No.12 and No.13 together. Keep watching for more announcements!

Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 7 August 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Talyllyn Railway Announces New General Manager

The Talyllyn Railway is delighted to announce that Stuart Williams is to be their new General Manager. 


Having originally studied as a quantity surveyor, Stuart is currently the Managing Director and Founding Partner in a marquee hire firm, which he has helped develop from a two person operation to a highly successful business. He also has experience in sales and distribution management.

In addition Stuart has a background in the heritage railway movement and has been heavily involved in the Dean Forest Railway, serving as a volunteer for the last eleven years, including acting as the railway’s Sales and Marketing Director. Last year he became Chairman of the Railway’s board.

Among his other interests Stuart counts motorsports, including acting as a navigator during various rallies. He is also a keen swimmer and is a member of the Chepstow Lifesaving Club.

Commenting on his appointment, David Ventry, chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Company said:

“We are delighted to welcome Stuart as our new General Manager, he stood out in a strong field of candidates and brings to the Railway a range of highly relevant skills and abilities, as well as considerable experience in the wider business world. His background with the Dean Forest Railway will also be a great asset in his work with us. We look forward to welcoming him as part of the Talyllyn family’.

Speaking of his appointment Stuart said:

“I feel incredibly privileged to be appointed General Manager of the oldest heritage railway in the World. The task ahead, besides day-to-day management of a busy railway, involves the development of commercial and funding strategies to ensure the sustainability of this, one of the founders of the Great Little Trains of Wales. I can’t wait to start and look forward to meeting the staff and volunteers.”

Stuart will take up his role in September.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk


Stuart Williams, the Talyllyn Railway's new General Manager

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 July 2017

Internal Combustion progress

As we head towards the Diesel Delight event on October 7 & 8, various projects on the IC loco front continue to progress. The big Motor Rail, 1320, is continuing in ites PRISM-funded restoration project. The frame is now sitting upside down on a wagon, rather dominating the workshop. The frame has been shotblasted and primed. A few repairs were needed, and various castings were somewhat past their best. Since they were fitted in 1918 and probably not touched in 99 years, there isn’t really room to complain. Also, the Motor Rail Warranty Department doesn’t work on a Sunday.

At the opposite end of the Motor Rail spectrum is the tiny Autin-engined 12/20hp loco number 6031, known as Lord Austin. The loco was ordered for use by the Midhurst Whites brickworks, and they specified that it was for use in a low-height application; hence the cut down brake stand, and an unusual configuration of the gearbox controls. The loco has been finally fitted with its cab to complete the restoration – predictably, a low height cab. Getting in and out is interesting, to say the least, but the photo proves that the owner can manage it. How much vaseline was need to accomplish this feat is not known. The remains of the original cab are, as can be seen, at the “pattern use only” stage.

Finally, it’s been an interesting few days in railway preservation in the UK, and not in a good way. We particularly think of friends and colleagues affected at Felin Fawr, and we sincerely hope that the future works out. It is only a few months since “Stanhope” was operating on that railway, and the future seemed so bright.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 23 July 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Chris Smith Appointed Engineering Manager

The Talyllyn Railway is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Smith as its new Engineering Manager.


Chris comes to his new role with a wealth of experience in the rail engineering industry, both in the mainline and heritage sectors, he has also been a regular volunteer for the past twenty years on the Talyllyn, being a qualified fireman on the Railway.

Having served his apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter he has worked on mainline diesel locomotives, and was the lead engineer on the overhaul of over 600 wagons for Freightliner, as well as a spell with Metronet in London. In addition, Chris has been employed as a contract fitter for the new-build A1 class steam locomotive Tornado. More recently he has been employed at Arriva’s Eastleigh maintenance depot.

In the heritage railway sector as well as his work with Tornado Chris has also led the team restoring the National Railway Museum owned Schools class steam locomotive, Cheltenham, on the Mid Hants Railway, where he is also a volunteer driver. In addition to this he has undertaken many engineering roles on the Mid Hants Railway and so brings a wealth of experience to his role on the Talyllyn.

Speaking of the appointment Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Company, David Ventry, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to this important position on the Railway. There was a strong field of candidates but we felt Chris offered us what we were looking for in a new Engineering Manager. Of course he is already familiar with the Railway and is aware of the challenges that the job brings. I look forward to working with Chris in the days ahead.”

Chris Smith commented:

“I am very much looking forward to working on the Talyllyn Railway following 20 years involvement as a volunteer, and also having the opportunity to bring skills and experiences from the heritage and mainline railway industries. My family and I are also very excited about having the chance to come and live in Tywyn.”

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk.


Chris Smith driving ex-British Railways class T9 No.30120 on the Mid Hants

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 17 July 2017

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