Fairbourne Railway – On The Train

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Taken from inside the first class observation car.









The Blue Train. Sets of three carriages were permanently joined together as an experiment. The Blue Train colours would have been used should the Elan Valley Project ever have taken off.



Every now and again, we would spray the vegetation with Gramaxone (a paraquat-based herbicide). This would involve two people; one holding the pump and one the sprayer sitting on the front of the train while spraying the weeds around. Gramaxone is quite poisonous and can do some damage to your lungs if not protected properly. My grandfather, Sydney, decided to kill off a tree with Gramaxone which the council planted in front of his house obscuring the view of the estuary.



I’ve had my share of accidents with cars or vans on level crossings. Thankfully, no one got injured. The most notable experience is when a van suddenly pulled up in front of me while driving the leviathan engine, Number 24. The front buffer caught the back end of the white van which spun it around furiously. The weight of the train and the solid mass of the buffer posed not one bit of sensation for the passengers. We just plunged through like butter.



We certainly tested out the speed of our locos and rolling stock down the ‘Race Track’ between Bathing Beach and Golf Halt, but never here!



The ‘Race Track’ section between the Bathing Beach (Traeth Mawr) and Golf Halt.



A typical bathing beach hut owned by one of the locals.



Kids always want to put their hands out of the windows!



Sherpa racing down the section of track to the Golf Halt.



Passengers getting off at the Golf Halt






My friend, Nigel Robinson, looking out the window.






From the inland side, one can see the expanse of marshlands leading out to the Mawddach Estuary beyond.






Another happy face looking out the window



In the background on the other side of the estuary is the picturesque town of Barmouth, where my grandmother, Lilian, was born and raised. The road alongside runs down most of the length of the railway up to the tunnel, where, beyond this point, road access is via a private gravel road along the beach foreshore.






One can clearly see the effect of the superelevated track around the corners.






Approaching the tunnel with some unwanted graffiti. Sadly, no one advocates the use of capital punishment for graffiti artists!



Pulling the dune grass from a moving train is not a good idea as it is liable to cut into your hands.



There was a second tunnel here at one point but it was removed as it created even more sand deposits by creating a wind trap between the two tunnels.



We removed the embankment to the right as the sand simply dropped onto the track. It also improved the view of the estuary for the passengers as well.






At this point, we had mains power to the restaurant but one can still see the plug for the generator car prior to mains being supplied.




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