Padarn Railway host wagon

Padarn Railway host wagon

photo_of_host_wagonOne of many exhibits in the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn is a “host” wagon from the Padarn Railway. This railway (described on this HiPoint page) was built in 1843 to carry slates from quarries near Llanberis to the dock at Y Felinheli. The rails were 1.2m (4ft) apart, twice the gauge of the wagons which brought the slate down the mountainsides from the quarries.

The smaller wagons were loaded onto transporter or “host” wagons, four at a time, at Gilfach Ddu and taken on the Padarn Railway to Penscoins, near Y Felinheli. There they were removed from the host wagons and sent down a further rope-worked incline to the harbour, where the slates were unloaded into ships or main-line railway wagons.

The Padarn Railway closed in 1961. Most of itphoto_of_guinness_locomotives equipment was scrapped, but this host wagon survived. The picture above (courtesy of David J Mitchell) shows how the small wagons were loaded onto the larger.

Also in the museum is an unusual 0-4-0 tank locomotive from the Guinness brewery, Dublin (pictured left, soon after its arrival in Tywyn). It was built in Dublin by William Spence & Company in 1895, to a design by Samuel Geoghehan, the brewery’s chief engineer from 1875. The brewery had a large network of narrow-gauge railways on several levels. The lowest tracks could move more than 8,000 casks per day to the main-line railway sidings, the quay on the Liffey or the washing plant. The middle-level trains served the malt store and the maltings, while the upper level moved malt and hops to the brewhouse.

photo_of_steam_loco_dotAlso on show is the tiny Dot (pictured right), built in 1887 to move components around the giant factory of locomotive builder Beyer Peacock in Gorton, Manchester. Its products were exported around the world and include the Garratt locomotives now used on the Welsh Highland Railway.

The museum also features a recreation of part of Wilbert Awdry’s study, where he wrote his railway stories now familiar as Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. He was an early volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway, and based some of his stories on the railway. The exhibit features his original furniture and models he made of his characters.

Postcode: LL36 9EY

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Website of the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Tywyn Wharf station - Talyllyn Railway
Fairbourne Railway
Aberystwyth Cliff Railway


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