£200k appeal for new carriages for Welsh steam railway
A £200,000 appeal has been launched to buy new carriages for a steam railway.
The Talyllyn Railway, one of the 'great little trains of Wales' takes thousands of passengers a year from the seaside town of Towyn into the Fathew Valley.
The appeal is to build four new open carriages which will double its capacity to accommodate wheelchair users.
It was launched at the railway society’s annual meeting where a special collection raised more than £1,100 to kick start the fund. The society hopes to have the first carriage in service in 2018 with the rest following at a rate of one per year.
Railway chairman David Ventry said: "Making the new open carriages accessible for all will allow passengers to enjoy the extra sensory experience of travelling by train. The Talylln Railway is a narrow gauge railway opened for goods traffic in 1865 and shortly after for passenger services. Trains have operated every year since between Tywyn on the west coast of Wales and Nant Gwernol just over seven miles inland."
In 1951, operation of the line was taken over by Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and it became the world’s first preserved railway.
Mr Ventry added: "Operation of the line is primarily by volunteers from all walks of life, with a small paid staff. It is now a major tourist attraction in the mid-Wales area, contributing significantly to the area’s economy.
“Our open carriages have now been in service for over half a century and are very much enjoyed by our passengers in all weathers. They have served us well but are becoming increasingly difficult and time consuming to maintain.
“Replacing them gives us the golden opportunity to redesign the open carriages to provide access for all by making each carriage wheelchair accessible so that they can be enjoyed by all our passengers.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do so on-line at talyllyn.co.uk/opencarriagesappeal or by sending cheques made out to Talyllyn Holdings Limited marked on the reverse Open Carriages Appeal.
Send cheques to Talyllyn Holdings Limited, c/o Wharf Station, Neptune Road, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY. A form for Gift Aid donations can also be downloaded from the railway’s website page.