Part 6: The world’s first preserved railway

1950s onwards

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Following Sir Haydn’s death in 1950, a group of enthusiasts, led by the engineer and author Tom Rolt, called a public meeting in Birmingham and the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society was formed.  Meetings were held with Lady Haydn, Sir Haydn’s widow, who agreed to hand over the railway to the TRPS.  The agreement included that the Haydn Jones family would continue to appoint some of the directors to the TR company board and that in the event of the scheme failing the family would get the first £1350, and in February 1951 the TRPS took over the railway.  The quarry and the property in the village remained the property of Lady Haydn.

The idea behind the TRPS was that members would provide both money, through membership fees and donations, and labour by working on the railway.  On 14th May 1951 the TRPS ran its first public service with 5 return trips to Rhydyronen.  The service to Abergynolwyn started on 4th June with two trains daily on Monday to Friday.