The Talyllyn Railway has announced plans to restore the Railway’s original locomotive watering point at Ty Dŵr between Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol.
Before the locomotive shed and workshop opened at Tywyn Pendre in 1867, the Railway’s first locomotive shed was at Ty Dŵr just above Abergynolwyn village on what was known as the mineral extension. A waterfall supplied water to the locomotive and even when the shed fell out of use locomotives continued to take water here when they shunted wagons between Abergynolwyn station and the base of the first incline to the Bryn Egwlys quarry at what is now Nant Gwernol station.
The watering point continued in use for nearly 90 years before the slate pillars were demolished and the slabs reused to build a retaining wall at the site of a major landslip at Dolgoch in 1955. Later alterations were also made to the site to enable passenger trains to travel through to Nant Gwernol.
For many years there have been discussions about restoring the watering point and now the Railway has announced plans to build as close a replica to the original facility as possible at the site. To this end an appeal was launched at the Warley Model Railway Exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on Saturday 24 November 2018 to raise an initial £4,000 to fund the project. As part of the launch a special diorama was on display showing what the site looked like constructed by Peter Kazer and Gordon Gravett.
Commenting on the appeal the Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, Ian Drummond, said:
‘The old watering point at Ty Dŵr has long been the object of discussion as to its possible restoration. Now as part of our long term heritage strategy we are actively seeking the funds through the Ty Dŵr Appeal to make this a reality. The involvement of the Railway in Gwynedd Council’s bid for World Heritage status for the North Wales slate industry has highlighted the need for us to make the most of our heritage assets and the reconstruction at Ty Dŵr is an initial part of these plans. There are other projects we are also looking at including what can be done at the site of the former winding house at the head of the incline which supplied Abergynolwyn village. The next stage of the Ty Dŵr project is to do a detailed survey of the site and draw up plans for the rebuilding as close to the original as can be done today.’
The restored watering point would not be used for regular passenger trains, but the intention is that it could be used for photographic and other special trains.
Further updates on the project will be given on a dedicated Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tydwr, contributions to the fund can be made on-line at www.justgiving.com/campaign/tydwr, or by sending donations to: The Ty Dŵr Appeal, c/o Talyllyn Railway, Wharf Station, Neptune Road, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY.