Talyllyn Railway has had a close connection with Abergynolwyn ever since the village was first developed to provide homes for slate quarry workers in the 19th century.
The railway was originally built to carry slate down to the coast for shipment onwards by sea or by mainline railway, but additionally it has always been an important part of the local transport infrastructure.
Links between the railway and the village have been strengthened over the years. Recently, the annual Abergynolwyn Show was hosted on a field owned by the railway next to the station car park.
Abergynolwyn Show chairman, Jennie Evans, said the show, which began in 2003, now raises in excess of £7,000 annually for local charities who benefit the village. Last year, the show committee gave £1,000 towards a defibrillator at Abergynolwyn Station.
Jennie’s family, which has always lived in the village, has a long association with the railway. Her grandmother ran the original refreshment waggon situated in a siding at Abergynolwyn, before the present station was rebuilt and extended to incorporate popular Tea Rooms.
General manager Stuart Williams said the new installation meant that five of the railway’s six main stations – Wharf, Pendre, Dolgoch, Nant Gwernol and Abergynolwyn – were all equipped with defibrillators. Rhydyronen station is already covered by one located at nearby Tynllwyn Campsite.
Local first responders have trained a number of Talyllyn Railway staff and volunteers to use the defibrillator and further training will continue for other volunteers.