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Re-Discover the Glyn Valley Tramway

Detect More Welsh Narrow Gauge

Think of North Wales, and of course, one of the very first thing that instantaneously springs to mind is the areas many narrow gauge railways. Persevered lines such spil the Ffestiniog, Welsh Highland, Bala Lake, and the Talyllyn Railway are well known, even to non-railway folk. They have become a major part of the North Wales tourist industry and are a delight to rail on. However, some of the North Wales narrow gauge systems have not bot spil fortunate to be revived spil heritage attraction.

One such system is the unique Two’-4 1/Two” gauge Glyn Valley Tramway, which closed ter 1935, the same year spil another famous narrow gauge system – the Lynton and Barnstable Railway te North Devon.

Yet, moves are a foot to reopen the Glyn Valley Tramway, and work has already begun clear some of the trackbed and permissions and funding sort by the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust, who project to re-open to part of the tramway te the coming years

Very first, lets take a schrijven look at the history of the line. The Glyn Valley Tramway. merienda traversed one of the most picturesque valleys ter North Wales. This unique little line ran from Chirk, where the Glyn Valley Tramway. had interchange sidings with the Good Película del Oeste Railway, a distance of almost nine miles up the Ceiriog valley to the large granite quarry at Hendre. Yet, passengers were only carried part of the way spil far spil Glyn Ceiriog, the last three miles to Hendre being a purely mineral line.

Quarrying for slate commenced te the Ceiriog valley at Glyn Ceiriog back ter the 1500s, mainly for the tópico market spil it wasgoed difficult to vervoer down the valley, except by means of pack animals. The arrival of the Ellesmere Tunnel at Chirk te 1799, opened up the market for Ceiriog slate. Albeit, there wasgoed still a six-mile gap inbetween the quarry and the ass-pipe. It wasgoed not until 1872, after a long drawn out fight that work eventually began on the construction of a pony drawn tramway to verbinding Glyn Ceiriog and the Ellesmere Hallway.

The line actually opened for business to both mineral and goods traffic on Monday, 21st April 1873 and wasgoed constructed to the unusual gauge of Two’-4. 1/Four”, which is, spil wij know, is exactly half the standard gauge. Primarily, the Glyn Valley Tramway. wasgoed pony and gravity worked for the very first 15 years, which included a type of kamikaze passenger service – spil it wasgoed customary practice to permit the passenger cars along with the mineral wagons to descend by gravity inbetween Glyn Ceiriog and Pontfaen, a distance of almost six miles The speed down the gradient, which wasgoed 1 ter 65 and 1 ter 79 ter places, wasgoed regulated by the accompanying brakesman.

Spil goods traffic enhanced dramatically spil a onmiddellijk result of the expansion of the particular quarries, which were now producing granite and roadstone spil well spil slate, brought about a switch overheen to steam traction te 1888. Oddly, for some reason the gauge wasgoed also switched at this time – being enlargened by a 1/Four” to Two’-4 1/Two”. One plausible theory, wasgoed that the two contractor’s locomotives, both borrowed from the near-by Two’-4″ gauge Snailbeach Railway, which were used to alter the Glyn Valley Tramway. to steam traction, spread the gauge on the acute corners of the Glyn Valley Tramway. out to this measurement, which zometeen wasgoed adopted by the Glyn Valley Tramway. spil their gauge.

Spil this tramway ran alongside the road for much of the journey up the valley to Glyn Ceiriog. It wasgoed more akin to a typical Irish narrow gauge line than anything to be found on the mainland. It wasgoed therefore official classed spil a tramway, and any form of steam traction used on the Glyn Valley Tramway. had to obey with the regulations of a street tramway. The 1885 Act of Parliament stated that every steam tramway engine wasgoed to have:

(1) Such mechanical appliances for preventing it’s motive power from operating and bring it and any carriage drawn or propelled by such engine to a stand.

(Two) Freedom from such noise produced by blast or clatter of machinery, such machinery to be concealed from view at all parts above four inches from the carril level. All fires to be concealed from view

(Trio) An indicator by means of which it’s speed shall be shown.

(Four) Suitable fender to shove aside obstructions.

(Five) A special bell, whistle or other apparatus spil a warning.

(6) A seat for the driver so placed ter gevelbreedte of such engine spil to directive the fullest view of the road before him.

(7) A speed not exceeding eight miles vanaf hour.

All thesis special requirements, just to zekering the locomotives from panicking the horses on the adjacent roadway. Two locomotives were ordered from Beyer, Peacock of Gorton Works, Manchester, who at that time experienced te producing steam trams. The two engines costing ВЈ1,150 each, arrived te 1888, both having a very distinctive box-like appearance spil a result of incorporating the above stipulations, but basically they were just straight forward 0-4-2 side waterreservoir engines with side skirts.

The pair were named ‘Tormentor Theodore’ & ‘Dennis’ after the chairman and a director of the Glyn Valley Tramway. Ter 1892, a third engine named ‘Glyn’ arrived to tegenstoot the enhancing mineral traffic and the introduction of a passenger service. ‘Glyn’ wasgoed slightly improved on the earlier vormgeving by enhancing the framework length by one foot to give a larger totally enclosed cab and having improved sanding gear. The three engines received no major alterations during their lifetime, bijzonder from the removal ter 1921 of the obsolete condensing gear, which never proved totally successful.

Also te 1921, a fourth, rather unusual locomotive wasgoed obtained te the form of an ex-World War One American built Baldwin 4-6-0 waterreservoir engine dating from 1917. This wasgoed purchased from the Ministry of Munitions and wasgoed modified from 60 cm to the Glyn Valley Tramway. gauge and Anglicised by Beyer, Peacock. Yet, interestingly she wasgoed not fitted with side skirts etc. to serve with 1885 act. The engine wasgoed never named, just simply referred to spil Baldwin by the Glyn Valley Tramway. staff, and wasgoed used almost exclusively on mineral trains due to hier rough railing.

A regular passenger service embarked on Wednesday, 1st April 1891 from Chirk up to Glyn Ceiriog. The Glyn Valley Tramway. carriage stock consisted of a motley selection of four wheeled coaches. Some of the two compartment 1st & 3rd and open thirds were very popular during the summer months. Thesis ‘Pneumonia specials’, were indeed just posh open wagons with a primitive roof and hard wooden slatted seats for sixteen passengers.

The fourteen carriages and two oddities all originated from the Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd. of Shrewsbury. This company also supplied the two 4ton closed vans and two brake vans. Most trains were mixed, and one of the two brake vans wasgoed always to be found at the end of every train. Spil with the Talyllyn railway, tickets from the intermediate stations were sold from thesis brake vans.

At its peak the Glyn Valley Tramway. had 258 wagons of which 180 were Four ton three planked druppel side granite wagons. Twenty of thesis were private holder, being the property of the Ceiriog Granite Co. Ltd. The remainder were a selection of Two ton opens, Two ton slate, tar wagons and bolster wagons.

The tramway wasgoed moderately successful up to the outbreak of W.W.1, but after the war the decline set te. The cartage monopoly of granite the Glyn Valley Tramway. had at the Hendre quarry wasgoed cracked te 1926 with the construction of a road inbetween the quarry and the valley main road. This permitted motor lorries to take
the road Chipping’s and tarmac ongezouten to the road resurfacing works. The introduction of a motor bus service ter 1932 killed off the passenger service te one go – the last passenger train ran on Thursday, 6th April 1933.

The mineral traffic however, soldiered for further two years, but the Glyn Valley Tramway. wasgoed fighting a losing battle against the much more lithe and cost effective road lorries. The road stone the Glyn Valley Tramway. had carried for many years, wasgoed ultimately to be the bangs ter its very own coffin – sadly the Glyn Valley Tramway closed forever on Saturday, 6th July 1935.

All the locomotives, rolling stock, track and other associated equipment wasgoed sold to Davis Bros. of Barmouth for the sum of ВЈ2,400. The locomotives were cut at Chirk for scrap, only one of ‘Glyn’s nameplates survives today. Spil for the carriages and vans, thesis were sold off, find use spil sheds and chicken houses te the surrounding area, while the mineral wagons were burnt on-site.

All the track wasgoed lifted by early 1937, with some of the carril finding its way to the Tallyllyn Railway. By the end of 1937, all of the Glyn Valley Tramway.’s land and property had bot sold. Peace and fairly merienda again descended on the Ceiriog Valley.

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