With most staff on Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn in Mid Wales having been furloughed due to the Coronavirus lockdown, two new recruits are doing donkey work trackside and at stations on the seven-mile line.
The railway’s four-legged friends, Hamish and Lady Maude, are have been drafted in to graze the grass around Rhydyronen station and keep the trackside undergrowth in check.
The line’s closure may be bad news for the team running the world’s first preserved railway, but Hamish and Maude are enjoying the absence of trains to fill their bellies!
Talyllyn Railway’s general manager Stuart Williams explained that it is the first spring that the railway has not run trains since its preservation in 1951.
“Usually a combination of regular steam trains and our army of outdoor volunteers who strim, flail and tend to the lineside keeps the vegetation under control,” he added. “Without these people in place, the lineside is reversing quickly to nature and becoming akin to a closed railway.
“We were pleased to be asked about the possibility of allowing a couple of local donkeys to graze the lineside at Rhydyronen, so Hamish and Lady Maude moved in and have been given their own part of the railway to maintain.”