Immortal Rails, volume 2
The Story of the Closure and Revival of the Ffestiniog Railway 1939-1983
Opened in 1836, the Ffestiniog Railway made a considerable impact on the British railway scene during the 19th century. Following years of decline it was closed in 1946 but came to be reopened with volunteer support from 1955, the tale of the closure, the efforts to gain control of the derelict railway and the first years of revival being told in Immortal Rails Volume 1. This volume continues the story from 1964, following two themes. Firstly, how the railway overcame many problems whilst it struggled to carry ever increasing numbers of passengers with worn-out locomotives and rolling stock. Secondly, how it undertook the mammoth unprecedented venture of building a deviation railway around a power station that had usurped a part of its trackbed. The tale concludes with the official opening of the new terminus at Blaenau Ffestiniog and the retirement of the charismatic general manager who had overseen the enterprise from 1955, Allan Garraway, in 1983. An interlude covers the construction of the deviation and the battle with the CEGB for compensation and a postscript outlines events since 1983. Although there have been other accounts of the Ffestiniog Railway's revival and return to Blaenau Ffestiniog, the author has had access to much material not previously published, producing a fresh and readable detailed two volume record that will leave every reader fascinated by the scale of the achievement.
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Updated: 1 July 2021