From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
From this month's featured article
The Rhiwbach Tramway was a narrow gauge railway connecting the remote slate quarries to the east of Blaenau Ffestiniog with the Festiniog Railway. Built to the same gauge as the FR and completed in March 1863, it ran from the FR's Duffws station, three miles east to to Rhiwbach Quarry, serving the Cwt-y-Bugail, and Blaen y Cwm quarries on the way. Just before Rhiwbach itself was reached, a branch lead to Bwlch y Slaters (Manod) quarry, now operated by Rigcycle and known as Cwt y Bugail, the original quarry of that name having closed in the early 1960s.
The line was actually built by the FR but paid for by the Festiniog Slate Company. It was designed by Charles Easton Spooner, then Secretary and Engineer to the Festiniog Railway Company.
The quarries connected to the tramway had no practical road access as they lay at an altitude of around 1560' above sea level in a remote moorland.
The majority of the tramway was closed in 1961 and lifted in 1964. However, a short section remained in use until 1976 and some sleepers and a few lengths of rail are still in place. (more...)
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This month's featured picture
The Festiniog Railway has three carriages with open sides. They are added to service trains in good weather, to offer passengers an alternative to travelling in a closed carriage. The open carriages are usually placed immediately behind the locomotive on the Up run. Usually known as the "Tourist Cars", two of these carriages were built in 1971 at Boston Lodge.
No. 37 is a semi-open four-compartment tourist carriage built by FR Co. at Boston Lodge on a much older Hudson bogie wagon underframe (ex No. 70, from FR EAG 1970, originally supplied by Gloster Carriage & Wagon Co. to Leighton Buzzard Lt Rly 1923). When constructed, some of the half-height doors from Carriage 23 were fitted to this carriage and to Carriage 38.
The photo shows the interior of No. 37 in May 2003.
Photo credit: Norman Bond
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