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Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY
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The Talyllyn Railway was the world's first successful preserved railway and celebrates the diamond jubilee of volunteer operation in 2011. It was the first narrow-gauge railway to be promoted with steam traction and the carriage of passengers envisaged from the outset, and uniquely can still operate both the locomotives, all three carriages and the brake van purchased in the 1860s.
The Talyllyn Railway offers a fifteen-mile round trip through the beautiful scenery of mid-Wales in traditional wooden-bodied carriages behind coal-fired steam engines. The full return journey takes about two-and-a-half hours including a refreshment stop, but there are numerous walks available and passengers are welcome to break their trip and continue later. For young travellers there is the "Railway Adventure" playground at Abergynolwyn, whilst both young and old enjoy the Museum at Tywyn.
For volunteers the Talyllyn Railway offers a wide variety of opportunities. The traditional skills of the footplate, guard's van, signalbox or station can be learnt and enjoyed. Those with workshop or other practical abilities are particularly welcomed, but there is plenty to do for people who can only offer their time and effort. A number of social events throughout the year allow volunteers of different ages, both sexes and all departments to enjoy each other's company.