The re-enactment of First Public Train Brings 150th Anniversary Celebrations to a Close On Friday 16 December 2016 the Talyllyn Railway’s 150th Anniversary celebrations officially ended with a re-enactment of the first public passenger train which ran in December 1866. Composed of the same locomotive, No.2 Dolgoch, and carriages that are believed to have made up the original train, it ran between Tywyn Wharf and Abergynolwyn stations carrying members of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and their guests. A special stop was also made at Tywyn Pendre station, the original passenger terminus in Tywyn. The Railway’s 150th Anniversary celebrations began in 2014 with the 150th Anniversary of the completion of locomotive No.1 Talyllyn at the Lowca Engineering works of Fletcher, Jennings & Co. in Whitehaven on 24 September 1864. They continued through a series of seven galas in 2015 and 2016 tracing the story of the history of the Railway and celebrating various landmark dates, including the opening of the line to slate traffic and the passing of the Talyllyn Railway Act in July 1865. Originally the commencement of the public passenger service was noted in a small paragraph in the North Wales Chronicle on 22 December 1866. Here it was stated that passenger trains on the Railway had started departing from Abergynolwyn at 8 am and 3 pm Monday to Saturday. Unfortunately there is no indication of the precise date train services began running, but it is assumed that it was at some point in mid-December 1866. Therefore, the re-enactment train took place at approximately 150 years after the original service began, and marked the fact that trains had run on the line every year since then. On its arrival at Abergynolwyn station there was a short speech given by the Railway’s General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, before the passengers enjoyed some seasonal refreshments. Speaking on the event and the 150th celebrations the Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, Ian Drummond, commented: ‘The 150th anniversary events have been a great success for the Railway, and in many cases have broken new ground in what we could achieve. It is a huge tribute to all those involved that they have all taken place successfully, and have drawn a lot of interest from both within the United Kingdom and internationally. The railway holds two unique records, one it was the first statutory narrow-gauge railway designed for steam operation from the outset, and two it became in 1951 the World’s First Preserved Railway. It is therefore highly appropriate that the re-enactment train was hauled by locomotive No.2 Dolgoch, which not only probably pulled the first passenger train on the line, but also hauled the very first train on a preserved railway in May 1951. This is an absolutely unique heritage which we need to continue to celebrate’. Later on the same day a special Carol Train was run conveying 100 people to an informal Carol service at Abergynolwyn station. Then over the weekend the first of this year’s Santa Specials was run, which have proved so popular that extra trains have had to be laid on to cope with demand. Photos by Barbara Fuller. For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.