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Welsh Highland Railway

01_welshThis railway was the late flowering of ambitions for an extensive network planned by the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways in the heyday of the narrow gauge in the 1870s.  In the event a struggling line from Dinas (near Caernarvon) to Rhyd Ddu with a branch to Bryngwyn opened in 1877 but closed to passengers under World War I conditions in 1916.  A long planned a very much extended railway through to Portmadoc was constructed over existing, partly finished earthworks, by 1923 . At that time Stephens became manager as it was under the same ownership as the Festiniog railway. Although Stephens influenced its equipment the Welsh Highland struggled all its life with insufficient resources and little goods traffic and closed in 1936, after which it was dismantled.

A long held dream of enthusiasts to rebuild the line finally began to be realised in the 1990's,and the complete route reopened in 2011 . A fine new railway operationally it bears little relationship to the old.

Further reading:

Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire. J I C Boyd, Oakwood Press, various editions.

Portrait of the Welsh Highland, P Johnson, Ian Allan, 1999.

An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway, Peter Johnson. OPC, 2002 revised 2009.

See Also Topics articles

New Traction On The Festiniog And Welsh Highland Railways