Tren Bach y Llan, The Little Train to Llan Ffestiniog, by Chris Jones

Tren Bach y Llan, The Little Train to Llan Ffestiniog, by Chris Jones

Subtitled 'A History of the Festiniog and Blaenau Railway, the area and its community'

Published by Lightmoor Press in 2022, 208 pages. Large Hardback - c.22cm by 28cm (N8356)

Brand New Book

From the rear side cover: The history of the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway has long been overshadowed by its internationally renowned neighbour, the Ffestiniog Railway, even though the two made a junction at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Although they shared the same narrow gauge the two lines were quite different, the Festiniog & Blaenau having a distinctive connection with the local, Welsh, communities from which it had drawn much of its initial investment, rather than the absent Irish financiers who expected regular dividends from the Ffestiniog.

This new account of the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway combines original research in local and national archives, including the financial records of the Company, together with information from local newspapers, to reflect the communities it served and the personalities involved, alongside the principal industry of the area, the extraction and processing of slate. The location of the Festiniog & Blaenau made it a player in the political manoeuvrings of the standard gauge L&NWR and GWR as those companies tried to gain access to the lucrative traffic in slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog. The account concludes with the eventual conversion of the Festiniog & Blaenau to standard gauge by the GWR’s puppet, the Bala & Festiniog Railway, and the fate of its players and ambitions.

The story is supported by contemporary maps and documents, together with illustrations including specially repared drawings of the locomotives and rolling stock, previously unpublished photographs, contemporary documents and the exquisite, full colour, drawings prepared for the construction of the railway, also previously unpublished. All are presented at the largest size possible, commensurate with their quality.