News from 30 April 2017

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Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Local Rotarians Honoured for ‘Race The Train’

Tywyn Rotary Club were recently honoured with an award for organising ‘Race the Train’


There was a special gathering at Tywyn Wharf station on Thursday 20 April 2017, when past and present members of the Rotary Club of Tywyn were honoured by the awarding of the Wallasey Cup, presented by District 1180 of Rotary International Britain and Ireland for the best club project for organising the ‘Race the Train’ event for the last 33 years. Godfrey Worsley, for many years the Race Director, originally came up with the idea for the main race, which has become internationally famous, and features runners ‘racing’ a Talyllyn Railway train between Tywyn and Abergynolwyn and return, a total distance of some 14 miles.

Since it started in 1984 the event has grown hugely and now attracts runners from all over the world eager to take part in this gruelling challenge. Runners wanting to beat the train have to complete the course in under 1 hour 47 minutes. Over the years the race has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for charity.

The event now features a variety of different races over a number of distances to suit different abilities, which has added to its popularity. This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Saturday 19 August 2017, and the Tywyn Rotary Club is looking for volunteers to help assist with the event.

For more information about the race please visit their website at

The photo shows local Rotarians past and present gathered at Tywyn Wharf station to be presented with the Wallasey Cup for their organisation of the ‘Race The Train’ event.

Left to Right: Maciek Wood-Kaczmar, John Derry, Lawrence Garvey, Ritchie Owens, Graham Clarke, John Lloyd Jones, Anthony Pearson (President), Elwyn Price, Tracey Parkinson (General Manager Talyllyn Railway), Godfrey Worsey (Former Race Director), George Watson (Current Race Director), John Sidebotham, Nancy Clarke (Senior Vice President), Elfyn James, Paul Cartwright, Peter Saunders, Stephanie Purcell.

(Photo: Darren Turner)

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.



Local Rotarians past and present gathered at Tywyn Wharf station

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 April 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Passing of David Woodhouse MBE

On Friday 21 April 2017 the funeral was held at St Cadvan’s church in Tywyn for the Talyllyn Railway’s former Traffic and General Manager, David Woodhouse MBE.

The service was led by Talyllyn volunteers Rev Nigel Adams assisted by Sue Whitehouse, and was attended by family and friends including a sizeable contingent from the Talyllyn Railway both staff and volunteers, as well as representatives of the Heritage Railway Association.

At the start of the service the current Talyllyn Railway General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, laid a special key token on the coffin marked for the journey between Earth and Heaven. The service also included a tribute from David’s son Tim, who spoke of his father’s love for railways and the Talyllyn in particular.

David was an early volunteer on the Railway when he was employed by the Midland Red Bus Company, and was the guard on the original Coronation specials which were run in June 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He became increasing involved in the operational side of the Railway and was appointed Traffic Manager in 1966. With Bill Faulkner as Managing Director and John Bate as Chief Engineer this was to be the management team which oversaw the Railway during one of its greatest periods of expansion, including the extension to Nant Gwernol which opened in May 1976.

In his role as Traffic Manager David became one of the most recognised figures on the Talyllyn, universally known as ‘Traffman’. He did much to improve the operational standards on the line, and for his inspection trips along the Railway the blockmen even had a special bell code to warn each other of his whereabouts. However, at least one blockman was caught out having sent the ‘Traffman leaving section’ code through to have a voice behind him saying “No he hasn’t!”.

In 1982 David was appointed the Railway’s General Manager until his resignation in December 1992. However, he then went on to work with the Heritage Railway Association for many years, but remained resident in Tywyn.

Among his other achievements was the establishment in 1969 of the Great Little Trains of Wales marketing panel, which still promotes and represents the narrow gauge railways of Wales today. In recognition of his services to the Welsh tourist industry David was awarded the MBE in 1989. He died after a short illness on 11 April 2017 aged 84, leaving his widow Margaret and children Richard John, Tim and Sam.

Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society chairman, Ian Drummond, commented:

“David’s passing marks the breaking of another link with our past. For those of us who came to the line in the 1960s, 70s and 80s David was very much part of the fabric of the Railway, and indeed in many ways was the Talyllyn. Under his influence the Railway very much became what we know it today, particularly in terms of its operational professionalism.

We have been delighted to have David back on the Railway in an official capacity in recent times. These included the re-enactment of the Coronation Specials for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2013 when he was interviewed by the BBC, although unfortunately that segment was not broadcast. He was also present for our ‘Road to Adventure’ gala in May last year when we celebrated forty years since the opening of the line to Nant Gwernol. He will be much missed, and the turnout at his funeral marked the respect with which he was held. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.”


The photo shows David Woodhouse (left) with Gareth Jones on the occasion of the re-enactment of the original 1953 Coronation trains in 2013. David was the guard on the original trains and Gareth the fireman. Photo: Ian Drummond.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.

David Woodhouse (left) with Gareth Jones in 2013

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 April 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Come and ‘Give It A Go’

The Talyllyn Railway is inviting people to ‘Give It A Go’ over the weekend of 3rd and 4th June 2017.


There will be the chance to find out what it is like to volunteer on the World’s First Preserved Railway. But the weekend isn’t just for railway enthusiasts, because many of the Talyllyn’s volunteers aren’t enthusiasts either, just people who have fallen in love with the Railway and its community and decided to get involved.

Whatever people’s interests there are plenty of opportunities to be had, including working:

•On the locomotives

•As Guard or Blockman

•On the track

•In the workshops



•Working in the shops and cafes

•As a Museum attendant

During the two days there will be the chance to find out what is involved in all these roles including what training is required, as well as look behind the scenes, meet with other volunteers and find out what it’s like to work on Railway. What brings many of our volunteers back is the sense of community that they find with those working on the Railway, with many commenting it is just like a big family.

In addition, many younger volunteers have found that being able to write about what they do on the Railway on job applications has helped them to find employment in their chosen field. Several Talyllyn volunteers now occupy senior positions in the rail and associated industries.

To take part all people have to do is to contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator stating which day they are thinking of coming on and what roles they would be interested in finding out about. This will enable us to tailor a programme suitable for them. Our volunteer co-ordinator can be contacted at volcoordinator [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: TR%20website%20enquiry) , alternatively you can leave a message at Tywyn Wharf station on 01654 710472 and someone will get back to you.

Photo by Darren Turner.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.


Driving and blocking are two of the roles volunteers undertake on the Talyllyn

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 April 2017

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