Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire - Volume 2: The Welsh Highland Railway
This second - and last - volume is an enlargement of part of James Boyd's single-volume edition of 1971. In this entirely new work, he expands solely on The Welsh Highland Railway, which was covered more cursorily in the original edition.
The vision of a narrow gauge railway linking Caernarvon and Cardigan Bays - which would have been the longest of its type in the Principality - is almost a century old. In the north it would have used the existing North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways' system and in the south, a conversion of the horse-worked Croesor Tramway; straddling some fine mountainous parts of Snowdonia a new railway would have to be built to join them. Factions and intrigue soured the way to success; ultimately the First World War interrupted further progress and after it the all-round confusion of the parties involved reared up again. All this is covered in Volume One. At last in the early 1920s the scheme was completed, the whole being dubbed The Welsh Highland Railway.
Too cumbersome, too long, too late in time, the new line was dogged by the lack of the last few miles into Caernarvon town, the growth of road haulage, the demise of the slate industry and the tedious journey time allied to bad time-keeping which tourists were bound to endure. By 1937 the last train had passed over the line. Yet the fascination of this short-lived railway has remained ever since second to none, and in the early 1960s an enthusiastic group emerged intent on reviving all or some of it. Their battles have been no less than those of their predecessors! Mr. Boyd deals with the misfortunes, mismanagement, local animosity, and economic depression of the 1920s and 30s ; no less with the problems and aspirations of those seeking to restore a railway in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. And no-one is better qualified to do so.
Hardback with dust jacket, 142 pages, black & white photographs. Map & gradient profile at rear
Condition: Very Good with some sun fading to spine
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Updated: 29 December 2021