The Talyllyn Railway’s 150th Anniversary celebrations officially came to an end on December 16, with the re-enactment of the railway’s first public passenger train – believed to have run in December 1866.
Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0WT No. 2 Dolgoch, the second of the 2ft3in gauge line’s original locomotive fleet, headed a train composed of carriages which are believed to have formed part of the original inaugural train.
The commemorative special ran between Tywyn Wharf and Abergynolwyn stations, with a special stop at Tywyn Pendre – the line’s original western passenger terminus.
The commencement of passenger services on the Talyllyn Railway was noted in a small paragraph in the North Wales Chronicle on December 22 1866, but with no indication of precisely when passenger trains first departed from Abergynolwyn.
The re-enactment train marked the end of two years’ worth of commemorative events on the TR, beginning in 2014 with the 150th anniversary of the completion of the line’s No. 1, 0-4-2ST Talyllyn, at Fletcher Jennings & Co’s locomotive works in Whitehaven.
Speaking on the event and the anniversary 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.”
Fittingly, Dolgoch hauled the line’s first passenger train since it was taken over by preservationists in 1951, kick-starting the preservation movement as we know it today.