Padarn Railway Lives

Obscure quiz question of the week – what do the two pictures have in common? The tanks are from Velinheli, an 1895 Hunslet which worked on the Padarn railway. This line linked the great Dinorwic quarries at Llanberis with the sea port – nowadays called Y Felinheli, but known as Port Dinorwic back when the railway was running. The other picture is the newly completed wagon traverser at Apedale, complete with traverser car sitting in all its splendour. The answer, of course, is that both ran (or now run) on the unusual gauge of 4’0″. This led to the intriguing question being asked – how long is since anyone in the UK built a new 4’0″ gauge railway? After some head scratching, we think the answer was probably 46 years. In 1969, Fire Queen – the unique surviving Padarn Railway locomotive – was relocated to the National Trust museum at Penrhyn Castle. To display the loco, some track must have been built to suit the loco, Unfortunately, we do feel it is unlikely that the National Trust would loan us Fire Queen to run up and down the traverser pit. Pity really, as the traverser car is a bit stiff and a little locomotive assistance would be quite welcome. If you’re reading Mr National Trust, we’d be ever so careful and always sheet it down each night. Just get in touch here – even if you’re not the National Trust.