Talyllyn Railway is getting ready for its 150th anniversary party over the weekend of July 3-5 when the stars of the show will be two visiting locomotives.
Prince, the oldest working 2ft gauge locomotive in the world from the Ffestiniog Railway and Russell from the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway will both be in steam at Tywyn Wharf Station over the weekend.
On Friday, July 3,
there will be a special ceremony at Abergynolwyn Station when a time capsule will be buried, including contributions from local schoolchildren, with the intention of opening it at the 200th anniversary in 2065. The railway is hoping to have special surprise guests present for the ceremony.
Among other events that will be happening at the railway over the weekend will be the annual Garden Railway Gala, which attracts garden railway enthusiasts from all over the country.
There are also going to be special photo opportunities based around Tywyn Wharf Station. These will include a series of trains of different types arriving and departing from the station during the Friday evening.
On the Saturday morning, there will be a line up of all the Talyllyn’s steamable locomotives at the station and that evening a special train will be departing hauled by five Talyllyn steam locomotives. Finally, on the Sunday morning, there will be a special photo train.
Other special trains will be running over the weekend, including a Mail Train on the Saturday, which will carry special railway letters with stamps especially designed for the 150th anniversary.
Sunday see a re-running of The Centenarian, a special train that ran during the railway’s centenary season in 1965. Before its departure from Tywyn Wharf there will be a short ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Talyllyn Railway Act, which received the Royal Assent on July 5, 1865.
Finally, to round off the weekend on the Sunday, there will be a special ecumenical celebration service at St Cadfan’s Church, Tywyn, at 4.45pm. The preacher will be the Bishop of Bangor the Right Rev. Andrew John and members of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society will be taking part.
A railway spokesperson said: “This promises to be a great weekend of celebration for the railway and to have two historic locomotives like ‘Prince’ and ‘Russell’ in steam at Tywyn Wharf is going to be a unique sight.
“We know that hundreds of enthusiasts are going to be visiting over the weekend and we hope they will not be disappointed. It will certainly be a 150th party to remember.”