"it is a relic, this railway, a bit of ornamental scrollwork lifted from the pattern of yesterday and kept, as a memento..."

The Talyllyn Railway is the first preserved railway in the World, known affectionately as ‘The Railway with a Heart of Gold’.  It was over 150 years ago, in 1865, that the line opened and in 1951 the Preservation Society was born to take over the Railway after the death of the owner Sir Haydn Jones.  The heritage steam engines transport passengers from Tywyn, the coastal town on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, to Nant Gwernol buried deep in the mountains above Abergynolwyn.

The journey itself crosses more than seven miles of spectacular scenery within sight of one of Britain’s highest mountains, Cadair Idris.  The journey takes 55 minutes up the line from Tywyn through the ancient woodlands and meadows of the Fathew Valley.  En route keep your eyes peeled for Red Kites, Cormorants, Barn Owl, Redstart, Peregrine Falcons, Wheatear, Linnet and Little Owl.  The cosy covered and open carriages provide the best of comfort and views as you travel up the line.

On arrival at Abergynolwyn, Quarryman’s Caban serves lovely homemade treats, drinks and snacks and there are plenty of trails and walks to explore in this beautiful corner of the Snowdonia National Park.

The Talyllyn Railway recently appeared on Coastal Railways with Julie Walters – please advance to 5 minutes to watch the section about the Talyllyn Railway.

The film ‘Railway with a Heart of Gold‘ is viewable on YouTube.  Filmmaker Carson (Kit) Davidson gave the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society the right to use this film to raise funds, and if you would like to purchase your own copy the DVD is for sale in our Gift Shop.  Although the release date is 1965, it was actually filmed in the early 1950s and is a charming and sentimental account of the Talyllyn Railway in its early days of preservation.

The Talyllyn Railway is also one of The Great Little Trains of Wales

All of the photographs in this website are courtesy of our enthusiastic railway photographers and are subject to the individual owner’s copyright.  Thanks are especially due to Barbara Fuller, Darren Turner and Dan Wyre who are responsible for photographing the majority of images, but also to several contributors to the Talyllyn Railway’s calendar: Ian Cooper, Gareth Jones and others too numerous to mention.  The historical images are from the Talyllyn Railway Collection.  Please do not reproduce without permission.