Nantlle Railway

Nantlle Railway

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Nantlle Railway

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The Nantlle Railway (sometimes referred to as the Nantlle Tramway) was a Welsh narrow gauge railway built to carry slate from several slate quarries in the Nantlle Valley to the harbour at Caernarfon for export by sea. The line received its Act of Parliament in 1825 and was constructed by Robert Stephenson, brother of George Stephenson. It opened in 1828 and was operated using horse power. Although built solely for the transport of slate, the line is known to have carried passengers at various times between Caernarfon and Penygroes.

The railway was absorbed into the Carnarvonshire Railway in 1865 and later the London and North Western Railway. The main part of its route, from Caernarfon to Penygroes, was rebuilt in 1867, in places on an adjacent alignment, to single track standard gauge main line standards to allow the operation of the Carnarvonshire Railway's steam hauled trains through to Afon Wen. The lower valley section from Penygroes to Talysarn (where transshipment yards were laid out) was converted to standard gauge in 1872. The remainder of the line continued in use as a horse drawn tramway linking Talysarn with several local quarries, and was operated as such by the LNWR, from 1923 the London Midland and Scottish Railway and from 1948 until 1963 by British Railways as far as the Pen-yr-Orsedd quarry. It is the last recorded use of horses by BR, and closed only with the closure of the branch line to which it connected.

The narrow gauge line was a form of wagonway...
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