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Tren Bach y Llan The Little Train to Llan Ffestiniog

Tren Bach y Llan The Little Train to Llan Ffestiniog
A History of the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway, the Area and its Community

Chris Jones

208 pages. 275x215mm. Printed full colour throughout on gloss art paper, laminated printed board covers.

ISBN13 : 9781915069108


The history of the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway has long been overshadowed by its internationally renowned neighbour, the Ffestiniog Railway, even though the two made a junction at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Although they shared the same narrow gauge the two lines were quite different, the Festiniog & Blaenau having a distinctive connection with the local, Welsh, communities from which it had drawn much of its initial investment, rather than the absent Irish financiers who expected regular dividends from the Ffestiniog. This new account of the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway combines original research in local and national archives, including the financial records of the Company, together with information from local newspapers, to reflect the communities it served and the personalities involved, alongside the principal industry of the area, the extraction and processing of slate. The location of the Festiniog & Blaenau made it a player in the political manoeuvrings of the standard gauge L&NWR and GWR as those companies tried to gain access to the lucrative traffic in slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog. The account concludes with the eventual conversion of the Festiniog & Blaenau to standard gauge by the GWR’s puppet, the Bala & Festiniog Railway, and the fate of its players and ambitions. The story is supported by contemporary maps and documents, together with illustrations including specially repared drawings of the locomotives and rolling stock, previously unpublished photographs, contemporary documents and the exquisite, full colour, drawings prepared for the construction of the railway, also previously unpublished. All are presented at the largest size possible, commensurate with their quality. The author is a long-term volunteer on the Ffestiniog Railway and Co-Archivist to the Festiniog Railway Company.

Tren Bach y Llan The Little Train to Llan Ffestiniog - Sample Images

sample book illustration
The last known photograph of narrow gauge operations, with Driver Rich Roberts on Engine No. 2 at the temporary station adjacent to the Cwmbowydd Road level crossing. To the left of the engine are probably Mathew Evans as guard and Stoker David Evans. The lifeguard beneath the front buffer beam appears to be straight, rather than V-shaped in plan, suggesting that it may have been No. 2 that had repairs in September 1881. In the background are standard gauge chairs ready for the mixed gauge track to be laid, dating this photograph to 1882. Peter Johnson collection
sample book illustration
The final section of Holland’s 1868 map of the line between Tan-y-Manod and Dolgarregddu Junction with the FR. The extremely simple layout of the F&BR station is notable. By permission of Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales