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Talyllyn Railway No.3 ‘Sir Haydn’ and Network Rail No.97304 ‘Rheilfford Talyllyn Railway

On the 15th May 2024, after celebrating our 73rd year of preservation the previous day, Network Rail Class 97 #97304 was officially named “Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway” by Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill, chair of Network Rail, at Tywyn Wharf Station. This is a testament to the close relationship we have with our neighbors on the other side of the slate Wharf, with future collaboration to further the interpretation of our slate heritage with the display of a standard gauge wagon on Network Rail land well underway.

“I’m very fond of this Railway and our Cambrian lines, and it always seemed to me a great shame that as we had dedicated locomotives on the Cambrian that they didn’t bear the names of Railways with whom we have a very close connection. It’s taken time and quite a lot of effort to get to the stage where we could name this Class 97 after the Talyllyn Railway, but having taken so long it seems particularly appropriate that it is on the cusp of the Talyllyn’s 75th Anniversary as the first preserved railway in the world.” said Lord Peter Hendy as part of the naming ceremony, Chair of the Talyllyn Railway Company David Ventry followed with saying “We are really grateful to Network Rail for not only Barmouth Bridge but donations of sleepers and assistance with relocating our standard gauge wagon – as you well know life for Heritage Railways is becoming more difficult, as it is with big Railways, but we are also grateful for the support you give us and the Heritage Railway Association which is much appreciated.”

Ken Skates, Liz Porrett, David Ventry, Lorraine Simkiss and Lord Peter Hendy

The cast nameplates in the style of our logo were revealed and two mounted replicas cast from the same pattern were presented to David Ventry and our General Managers Liz Porrett & Lorraine Simkiss. It has been a pleasure to work closely with Network Rail for the naming of this locomotive, with the nameplate being a replica of our logo – sure to draw the eyes of many as the locomotive passes by on the Cambrian routes. We cannot thank them enough for this opportunity.