List of Talyllyn Railway rolling stock

This is a list of past and present rolling stock used on the Talyllyn Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Talyllyn), a narrow gauge preserved railway line running for 7.25 miles (11.67 km)[1] from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage.[2][3] Despite severe under-investment,[4] the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers.[5][6]

When first opened, the railway owned two steam locomotives, Talyllyn and Dolgoch, and five carriages, including one brake van. There were no additions to the rolling stock until the line was taken over in 1951.[note 1] Two ex-Corris Railway locomotives were then purchased from British Railways, and subsequent additions brought the total up to six steam locomotives, four diesels and 23 carriages.


The line has six steam locomotives for passenger trains and four diesel locomotives that usually haul only works trains. It is unusual for all steam locomotives to be operable at one time, as there is usually at least one locomotive undergoing overhaul.[8]

Steam locomotives

For technical details about each locomotive, see the relevant locomotive article.
Number Name Image Type Builder Works number Date built Current status
(as of 1 August 2013)
1 Talyllyn 0-4-2[9] Fletcher, Jennings
& Co.
, Whitehaven[9]
42[9] 1864[9] In service. One of two original locomotives, it was built as an 0-4-0 without a cab. By 1866, trailing wheels had been added to improve stability, and it had a cab installed at the same time.[9] It was named after the railway.
2 Dolgoch 0-4-0[10] Fletcher, Jennings
& Co., Whitehaven[10]
63[10] 1866[10] In service. The second original locomotive. Like Talyllyn, it was built without a cab, though one was subsequently added. It was named after the intermediate station and local waterfalls, though after the Boer War, it carried the name Pretoria for several years. In 2011 it received a new boiler, and returned to steam in time for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the preservation society on 14 May.
3 Sir Haydn 0-4-2[11] Hughes,
Falcon Works,
323[11] 1878[11] Withdrawn from service in 2012, awaiting major overhaul. An ex-Corris Railway locomotive, purchased in 1951 and subsequently named after Sir Henry Haydn Jones, owner of the railway prior to preservation. Following the expiry of its 10 year boiler ticket in early 2012 the loco was stored out of use at the Corris Railway until April 2013 when it commenced a tour of various railway sites in England to help raise funds for its overhaul.
4 Edward Thomas 0-4-2[12] Kerr Stuart,
4047[12] 1921[12] In service [13] The second ex-Corris Railway locomotive, also purchased in 1951 and subsequently named after the general manager of the line prior to preservation. It was fitted with a Giesl ejector between 1958 and 1969.[14]
6 Douglas 0-4-0[15] Andrew Barclay, Kilmarnock[15] 1431[15] 1918[15] In service A "Modified E Class", built for the depot railway serving RAF Calshot.[16] It was donated to the Talyllyn in 1953, regauged from gauge and named after Douglas Abelson, who donated the locomotive.[17]

Returned to service July 2013 as 'Douglas' in bright red and black border livery.

7 Tom Rolt 0-4-2[18] Talyllyn Railway[18] none given[18] 1991[18] Withdrawn from service temporarily after 1 August for annual maintenance and a re-tube. This locomotive was built by the Talyllyn Railway using components from a Bord na Móna (Irish Peat Board) Andrew Barclay locomotive. It was originally intended to give it the jocular name Irish Pete. However, prior to completion, it was decided to name it in honour of L.T.C. Rolt, one of the founders of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society.

Diesel locomotives

Number Name Image Type Builder Date built Power (hp)[19] Wheel diameter[19]
5 Midlander 4wDM[note 2] Ruston & Hornsby 1941[20] 48 1 ft 6 in (0.46 m)
This locomotive was purchased in 1957 from Jee's quarries at Hartshill,[21] and contains parts that were cannibalised off an identical locomotive. It was named after the Midlands area group of the preservation society that donated the locomotive.
8 Merseysider 4wDH[note 2] Ruston & Hornsby 1964 50 1 ft 6 in (0.46 m)
This was originally built using parts from three gauge locomotives from Park Gate steelworks in Rotherham, acquired in 1969.[22] The superstructure was replaced c. 2000. It has a Dowty hydrostatic transmission. The name was chosen by the donor of the locomotive.[23]
9 Alf 0-4-0DM[note 2] Hunslet Engine Co. 1950 75 2 ft (0.61 m)
This is an ex-National Coal Board locomotive, from Huncoat colliery in Lancashire.[22] It was named after Alf Robens, chairman of the National Coal Board.[24]
10 Bryn Eglwys 4wDH[note 2] Motor Rail 1985 110 1 ft 11 in (0.58 m)
This was originally a gauge National Coal Board locomotive from Hem Heath colliery near Stoke-on-Trent.[25] It arrived on the Talyllyn September 1997,[26] and was re-painted into standard Talyllyn livery during summer 2005. The locomotive is named after the Bryn Eglwys slate quarries. The loco is due for disposal once the 2 Baguley locos enter service.
  4wDH[note 2] Baguley 1983-84[27] ? ?
  Three Baguley diesels, numbered T 0006 00 NZ 32 (BD 3764), BD 3779 and T 0009 00 NZ 35 (BD 3781),[27] were purchased from RNAD Trecwn in South Wales in 2008. These are owned by a consortium of volunteers, and not by the railway itself. Two locomotives will be converted to gauge in due course, with the third being used for spares. As of 4th September 2013, The first loco arrived back at Tywyn from Alan Keef Ltd after been regauged and the second loco has been sent away to Alan Keef Ltd for regauging.The locos are to be numbered 11 and 12 in due course. [28]

Self-propelled engineering plant

Name Image Type Builder Date built Notes
Toby Permanent Way Trolley John Bate 1955 Small trolley used by engineers for transportation to worksites. Built from a second hand Austin 7 engine and gearbox, mounted on a custom-made chassis.[29]
- Ballast tamper Matisa[30] 1990 Rail mounted track tamper. Parts of two ex-MOD standard gauge tampers were acquired in 1989 and one complete machine was assembled and commissioned on 26 June 1990.[31]
- Flail Mower Talyllyn Railway 1998 Rail mounted self-propelled vehicle used to clear lineside vegetation.[32] Designed by John Bate (Chief Engineer 1963-1994) and built from chassis components from two Ruston & Hornsby locomotives, the framing and motor components of a Smalley excavator, the flail mechanism and cab from a McConnel flail mower and a new Perkins diesel power unit.[33]

Former locomotives

Number Name Type Builder Date built Power (hp) Year with-
5 "The Lawnmower"[34][note 3] 4wPM[note 2] David Curwen 1952 20[35] 1953
This lightweight locomotive was built by member David Curwen using a Model T Ford engine and transmission from L.T.C Rolt's narrowboat and the wheels from a Talyllyn Railway slate wagon. It worked the Fridays-only winter passenger service until 1953,[36][37] when it was taken out of use with a failed gearbox. It was dismantled in 1954,[34] and converted to flat wagon No. 19 (see below).[38] It is proposed to rebuild it as a memorial to David Curwen, using a replacement engine and bodywork.[36]
7 "Charley's Ant" 4-2-0 Talyllyn Railway 1954 c.1958
A Mercury tractor that had been adapted to push standard gauge rolling stock by the addition of a buffer beam. It was further adapted in 1954 for use on the Talyllyn, and later converted to run on paraffin instead of petrol.[39] It was little used after 1958 and later scrapped. It was nicknamed after Charles Uren, the railway's chief engineer.[22]

Visiting locomotives

Because of the unusual gauge, there have only been two visiting locomotives to date. These are Motor Rail Simplex diesel No. 5 Alan Meaden and Winson Engineering and Drayton Designs No. 7 Tattoo class design[40] similar to the Talyllyn's No. 4. Both these are locomotives from the Corris Railway.

Number Name Image    Type    Builder Date built Notes
5 Alan Meaden 4w DM Motor Rail Simplex 1965 A former gauge diesel from Staveley Lime Products, Hindlow, Derbyshire, named in honour of the Corris Society's founder. It visited the Talyllyn in 1983 and 1990.[41]
7 0-4-2 Winson Engineering and Drayton Designs 2005 Built for the Corris Railway, based on the Kerr Stuart "Tattoo" class design of Corris No. 4. It visited the Talyllyn in 2011.[42]


The Talyllyn railway has a total of 23 carriages. The first five are the original carriages built for the railway, though they were not provided with numbers until preservation in 1951. After that time, the remaining carriages were built by the railway or acquired from elsewhere.[43] With the exception of ex-Corris carriage No. 17, all the bogie coaches were built for the railway after preservation; the smaller four wheeled coaches are generally older.

All the stock is third class only, unless otherwise stated. Where two figures are given for the number of seats, the larger figure is the maximum number of passengers than can be carried in a heavily loaded train.

Four wheeled carriages

Number Image Builder Date built Seats[43] Notes
1[44] Brown, Marshalls 1866 18 This was originally a first class carriage; it is now third class.[45]
2[46] Brown, Marshalls 1866 18
3[47] Brown, Marshalls 1866 18 This was the first carriage to be delivered,[48] and is 1 foot (30 cm) shorter than Nos. 1 and 2. Originally third class, it was later changed to composite (first and third class), but is now third class again.[45]
4[49] Lancaster Wagon 1867 18 In the 1950s, this carriage was known as "Limping Lulu" to railway staff due to the poor state of the frames, which were replaced in 1958.[50]
5[51] Brown, Marshalls 1866 none This was the original guard's van.
6[52] Falcon Works 1885 none This guard's van was originally from the Corris Railway.
7[53] Believed de Winton. Rebuilt by the Talyllyn Railway. c. 1900. 13 This was ex-Penrhyn Quarry Railway open carriage 'H'. It operated on the Talyllyn until 1961, and was later used as a tea van at Abergynolwyn, then as a generator wagon. During 1985 and 1986 it was completely rebuilt as a wheelchair saloon with guards compartment.[54]
8[55] Penrhyn Quarry Railway. Rebuilt by the Talyllyn railway. c. 1900. 24 This is an open-sided carriage that was originally Penrhyn Quarry Railway open carriage 'P'. It operated on the Talyllyn until 1964, when it was rebuilt from scratch in its current state.
11[56] Penrhyn Quarry Railway. Converted by the Talyllyn Railway Unknown. Converted in 1955. 24 Open sided
12[57] Talyllyn Railway 1956 24 Open sided.
13[58] Talyllyn Railway 1957 24 Open sided.
14[59] Midland R.C.&W. 1892 12 First class. Ex-Glyn Valley Tramway.
15[60] Midland R.C.&W. 1902 12 First class. Ex-Glyn Valley Tramway.

Bogie carriages

Number Image Builder Date built Seats[43] Notes
9[61] W.G. Allen & Tisdales 1954 30/40
10[62] W.G. Allen & Tisdales 1954 18/24 Contains guards compartment.
16[63] Kerr Stuart & TR 1961 18/24 Contains guards compartment.
17[64] Metropolitan C.&W. 1898 22 Ex-Corris Railway No. 8 and GWR No. 4992. Served as a greenhouse/summerhouse in Gobowen from 1930 to 1958 before being restored by the Talyllyn Railway.
18[65] Talyllyn Railway 1965 36/48
19[66] Talyllyn Railway & Tisdales 1969 12 1st class, 24/32 3rd class Composite carriage
20[67] Talyllyn Railway & Tisdales 1970 32/41 Wheelchair saloon.
21[68] Talyllyn Railway & Tisdales 1971 32/41 Wheelchair saloon. Rebuilt in 2012 and returned to service in July 2013
22[69] Talyllyn Railway & Tisdales 1972 24/32 Contains guards compartment.
23[70] Talyllyn Railway & Tisdales 1975 36/48

Goods wagons

The Talyllyn Railway was primarily constructed for conveying slate. Prior to the beginning of the 20th century, the railway owned over 115 wagons,[71] mainly slate wagons, but also a number of other general and special purpose goods wagons. Some of these survived into the preservation era, and since then a large number of additional wagons have been purchased and built. The following table lists the main types of wagon currently in use:

Number[38] Image Body type[38] Origin Notes
1 No. 1 Open end door Corris Railway A 2 long tons (2.0 metric tons) coal wagon, acquired in 1951 from the Corris Railway.[72]
4 No. 1 Open side door Corris Railway A 1 long ton (1.0 metric ton) coal wagon, acquired in 1951 from the Corris Railway.[72]
5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17 No. 2 Open end door Talyllyn Railway
6, 7, 9 Underframe only Talyllyn Railway
16 No. 2 Open side door Corris Railway
19 Flat wagon This was converted from the original locomotive No. 5.[38]
20, 21, 22, 23, 24 Ballast hopper Winchburgh Shale Oilworks Four of the five hoppers were acquired from Winchburgh in 1961; the fifth was built by the Talyllyn in 1983.[73]
28 No. 1 Covered van Ministry of Defence Acquired from Trecwn Royal Naval Armaments Depot in 2007.[74]
29 Tool van
30, 31, 33 Bolster wagon Ffestiniog Railway Open frame wagons used in pairs to carry timber.[72]
32, 34, 35 Flat wagon Ffestiniog Railway 3 long tons (3.0 metric tons) wagon, acquired in 1956, regauged from gauge.[72]
36 No. 1 Flat wagon with crane Bowaters Railway Acquired in 1971 and known as the Boflat.[75] This was fitted with a crane in January 2009.[76]
37 No. 2 Flat wagon with crane Bowaters Railway
40, 41, 42, 43, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55 Tipper wagon Cefn Coch quarry A set of gauge wagons obtained in 1975.[77]
60, 61, 62 Flat wagon Ministry of Defence
70 Bogie brake van Ministry of Defence Known as Boadicea, and repainted into green livery in January 2013.[78]
71, 72 Bogie flat wagon Ministry of Defence
101, 136, 164 Slate wagons Talyllyn Railway Two 2-bar and one 3-bar wooden slate wagons, owned by the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
117 Incline open Talyllyn Railway Original general purpose wagon, built with sheet iron sides and designed to prevent spillages while hauled on the Abergynolwyn village incline,[79] owned by the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
146 No. 2 Covered van Talyllyn Railway Original van, owned by the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
N Mail Waggon[note 4] Corris Railway Owned by the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.

Narrow Gauge Railway Museum rolling stock

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum is a purpose-built museum dedicated to narrow gauge railways situated on the Tywyn Wharf station. It owns several wagons formerly in use on the railway (listed above), as well as rolling stock and other artefacts from other narrow gauge railways around the world. The wagons are still used occasionally on the Talyllyn.


The standard livery for locomotives on the Talyllyn is bronze deep green,[81] lined in black and yellow, although since the 1980s there has been a policy of varying some of the liveries for a period of time. It is usual to have one steam engine painted in the guise of one of its fictional counterparts from the Skarloey Railway and wearing a face on the smokebox. This is usually No. 3 or No. 4, as the red livery closely resembles the colour carried by these locomotives on the Corris Railway, however, number 6 was painted to look like Duncan on one occasion.

The liveries carried by the steam locomotives as of 2013 are as follows:-

  • No. 1: Black with red and white lining in LNWR style.[82]
  • No. 2: Lined LMS crimson livery.[83]
  • No. 3: In Corris Red.[11]
  • No. 4: In standard Talyllyn green with standard lining.[12]
  • No. 6: In gloss red with black Borders.[15]
  • No. 7: In standard Talyllyn green with non standard lining.[18]

The vintage rolling stock and the carriages built for the line after preservation are cherry red, lined with deep bronze green. Additionally, the railway has preserved rolling stock from other railways. These retain their original liveries.

The Corris coach (Talyllyn No. 17) and brake van (Talyllyn No. 6) are brown lined with gold leaf and the two Glyn Valley Tramway coaches (Talyllyn Nos. 14 and 15) are green lined with white.[81]


  1. DM = Diesel-Mechanical - Diesel locomotive with mechanical transmission
  2. PM = Petrol-Mechanical -Petrol locomotive with mechanical transmission.



External links

  • Talyllyn Railway website
  • Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
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