The Festiniog Railway from 1950
Andrew Wilson (Author)
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DescriptionThe Festiniog Railway can trace its history back to 1829 and it was constructed to serve the slate quarries in the area. It was built to the gauge of 2ft as this was the track width used in the quarries. Originally powered by gravity and horses, by 1863 steam had come to the line. In 1869 the first Fairlie-designed double locomotive appeared. The railway was built to serve the slate trade but by the First World War trade had declined due to a number of factors. Passenger traffic was by then the mainstay of trade and the summer tourists kept the line in profit. But the Second World War was to see the closure of the line. It lay after the war, neglected and vandalised, until 1950 when steps were made towards preservation. By 1954 that had become a reality and the wonderland of Wales was back up and running. Today it is one of the best known of Wales' narrow gauge railways.
The History Press Ltd
1 August 2002
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