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Talyllyn Railway’s £300,000 boost from Welsh Coastal Communities Fund

The complete original Victorian train hauled by locomotive No.1 ‘Talyllyn’. Photo by David Mitchell.

A project by the world’s first preserved railway in Mid Wales to buy three new train carriages has received a £300,000 boost from the Welsh Coastal Communities Fund.

The £450,000 project will allow Talyllyn Railway, which runs from the coastal resort of Tywyn, to take 155-year-old original carriages out of daily service to preserve as much of their historic fabric as possible.

The new carriages will offer wheelchair accessible compartments, which will allow more passengers with mobility issues to travel in comfort. Two of the carriages will also have upgraded first class accommodation.

The original carriages will still be used for special trains, including weddings and driver experiences.

General manager Stuart Williams said: “We are delighted to have received this major award from the Welsh Coastal Communities Fund at an important time when we are recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

“The railway is planning a major new development in the next few years and this award is a major first step in this process. Talyllyn Railway is unique in having its two original locomotives and all its original carriages in use. This award will enable us to retain these carriages in as near their original condition as possible for many more years.”

The new carriages will be built under contract in Wales, with the first arriving in 2022 and the others in the following two years. This project forms an initial part of a multi-million pound scheme for the railway including a new heritage facility at Wharf Station, new volunteer accommodation and a new engineering works.