TRAINS & RAILWAYS: GENERAL INTEREST. The Snowdon Mountain Railway is unique amongst Britain's railways, quite literally a Swiss mountain rack and pinion railway translated to the grandeur of Snowdonia to ascend Wales' highest peak, Snowdon. Built in 1895 by the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad & Hotels Company, it is usually best remembered for the tragic accident that occurred on the first day of public operation in 1896. It overcame that awful event and has established a well-earned place as one of the most popular tourist railways in Wales. Less than five miles long, with gradients as steep as 1 in 5.5 and climbing from Llanberis, 350 above sea level, to a station 50ft below the 3,560ft summit, the 800mm gauge Snowdon Mountain Railway regularly attracts over 120,000 passengers a year.
Opened in 1836 as a horse tramway using gravity to carry slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog, by the 1920s the Festiniog Railway had left its years of technical innovation and high profits long behind. After the First World War, the railways path led inexorably to closure, to passengers in 1939 and goods in 1946.After years of abandonment, visionary enthusiasts found a way to take control of the railway and starting its restoration in 1955. Not only did they have to fight the undergrowth, they also had to fight a state-owned utility which had appropriated a part of the route. All problems were eventually overcome and a 2 mile deviation saw services restored to Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982.Along the way, the railway found its old entrepreneurial magic, building new steam locomotives and carriages, and rebuilding the Welsh highland Railway, to become a leading 21st century tourist attraction.Historian Peter Johnson, well known for his books on Welsh railways, has delved into the archives and previously untapped sources to produce this new history, a must-read for enthusiasts and visitors alike.The Festiniog Railways pre–1921 history is covered in Peter Johnsons book, Festiniog Railway the Spooner era and after 1830–1920, also published by Pen & Sword Transport.
Festiniog Railway 1836–2014 describes the history of the worlds first steam-operated narrow gauge railway to carry passengers. It covers the history of the railway from its beginnings as a horse-worked tramroad in 1836, through its technical developments with the introduction of steam locomotives, Fairlie articulated locomotives and bogie carriages through its twentieth-century decline, to closure in 1946, and then to the preservation era and its development as a major twenty-first-century tourist attraction.Built to serve the extensive slate industry in the Ffestiniog area of North Wales by carrying slate from the quarries to the port at Porthmadog, from 1865 the railway also operated a passenger service to serve the local community, which also attracted tourists. Closed in 1946 the railway was revived in stages from 1955, when a prolonged compensation claim was mounted against a major state-owned company for land taken to build a power station. Volunteers from all over the world came together to restore and operate this important piece of world industrial heritage, including the construction of the 2 mile deviation needed to bypass the power station. Services were resumed between Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982.The Festiniog Railway runs through some of the most beautiful countryside in North Wales, with spectacular views of mountains and lakes. The railway also has a very impressive collection of modern and historic motive power and rolling stock. It is one of the most successful tourist attractions in Wales and is one of the most important industrial history sites in the world.
Narrow gauge railways, so well suited to difficult, mountainous terrain, were built in many of the UK's most scenic locations. Their genesis was in mines and quarries where they replaced manor horse-pulled wagons, but their adaptability meant that by the 1860s they were also carrying passengers, in some cases over quite considerable distances. Today a good proportion of all the important lines survive in the service of tourists, whose appreciation of the landscape, and the railways themselves, keep these relics of industrial Britain alive in all their variety. Peter Johnson has been researching and writing about narrow gauge lines for many years, and this is the perfect introduction to a rich and appealing corner of British railway history.
A ride on a steam train is a popular family outing. More than 100 heritage railways cater for that demand, capturing the spirit of nostalgia while preserving the engines and equipment of past days of rail travel. Their interests even extend to the modern era of 1960's - 70's diesels.Those heritage railways themselves have a long pedigree, back to 1951, when a group of enthusiasts saved the Talyllyn Railway in mid-Wales from closure. They ran this railway as volunteers, out of their love of the little trains and a desire to keep it going. Their example was followed by many more preservation societies who preserved and restored branch lines, country lines and industrial lines for our enjoyment now.Six decades have passed, and we are now beginning to realize what an impressive history the heritage railway movement has. This book traces that history, from the humble beginnings the hopes and ambitions of the pioneers on the different railway projects. There were times of failure and frustration, as some fell by the wayside, but others have made it through times of adversity to become the major heritage businesses of today.
This is the first academic book to study railway enthusiasts in Britain. Far from a trivial topic, the postwar train-spotting craze swept most boys and some girls into a passion for railways. For many in this cohort, train spotting ignited a lifetime's interest. British Railway Enthusiasm traces this postwar cohort and those who followed, as they moved through the life cycle. As the years turned these people invigorated different sectors in the world of railway enthusiasm--train spotting, railway modeling, collecting railway relics--and then, in response to widespread grief at main line steam traction's death, Britain's now-huge preserved railway industry. Today this industry finds itself riven by tensions between preserving a loved past which ever fewer people can remember and earning money from tourist visitors.
Books, Parts of Books, Pamphlets and Academic Theses on the History and Description of Public Transport in the British Isles Published Up to the End of 1995, with Corrigenda and Addenda to the Entries in the Previous Volumes
Enterprise, Competition, and Regulation on the Railway Network in Victorian Britain
Author: Mark Casson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Business & Economics
This is the first history of the British railway system written from a modern economic perspective. It uses conterfactual analysis to construct an alternative network to represent the most efficient alternative rail network that could have been constructed given what was known at the time - the first time this has been done.
An extensively illustrated history of this Welsh railway—and the effort to restore it. One of Wales’ oldest narrow gauge railways, the 2ft 3in gauge Corris Railway was built to carry slate from several quarries in the Dulas valley to wharves on the river Dyfi. At first forbidden to use steam locomotives or to carry passengers, it overcame these obstacles and became an essential part of the community that it served. It was also a forerunner in encouraging tourists, offering inclusive tours to nearby Talyllyn, with passengers traveling on the train and on railway-operated road services. Taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1930, the railway was closed by British Railways in 1948, apparently for good. Fortunately, the last two steam locomotives and some rolling stock was saved by the nearby Talyllyn Railway, where it played an essential role in that railway’s preservation. Eventually, the thoughts of enthusiasts turned to reviving the Corris Railway, and, after many twists and turns, the first passengers were carried on a short section in 2002. In this book, historian Peter Johnson has delved into many sources to uncover the intricacies of the railway’s origins, development, operation, and revival.