The Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society is aiming to restore a 7 mile section of mothballed railway in North Wales. The line has been left dormant since the last train ran in 1998 on decomissining work, for the nuclear power plant in Trawfynydd. Since that last train only inspections of structures and a minimal maintenance programme have been carried out. during the years of last use and the society gaining permission to begin clearing, the track and its immediate boundries have become heavily overgrown with trees, bushes and shrubbery. The society requires some specialised equipment to be purchased to continue the clearance of this amazingly situated standard gauge branchline. Currently the line is been cleared using hand tools and a privately donated mini digger but to progress further we now need to purchase a wood chipper, with a 6 inch feed and preferably on a tracked chassis.
Once the line has been cleared to a suitable standard the railway can begin operating, subject to approvals and permissions in place. For a short period of time this will be over a reduced section, while work continues to clear the rest of the line. One thing is for certain, the chipper will be used well and looked after and will be retained by the socity for use in annual maintenance shedules.
The line is a former GWR branchline that spurred off at Bala junction, from the same line the Llangollen railway has been built up on a section of. The GWR built the line to tap into the rich slate resource of the region but met with compitition from the north, on the old LNWR branch from Llandudno Junction. this line having already been built for some time had gained almost all the work.
Originally the line we know now as The Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society, was in part originally narrow gauge of the same size as used by the Blaenu Ffestiniog Railway. This was changed after a few years and rebuilt as standard gauge. The history of the line has been covered in more detail in various books but now is a time when this sleeping beauty is awakening and for that to continue, we need everyones help. This project needs more equipment to move forward. Lets work together and make this project your own and re awaken this lovely line in the heart of the hills of Wales.
We ask for £5000 to purchase a wood chipper that will reduce the time in clearing the railway and been able to to brings trains back to the community.
If you would also like to get involved and become a member/volunteer in the project, please keep up to date on our website at www.bftr.co.uk or follow the facebook page.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our project and we hope we have portrayed our vision for all to see.
This project has been approved for funding through the Heritage + The Crowd match funding. It has received a bridge of 50% towards its fundraising target from Heritage Lottery Fund.