1836 Horse Stations
When the line first opened, and up until the introduction of steam haulage in 1863, it was operated by horse haulage. Between Boston Lodge and the Quarry (at Rhiwbryfdir) there were 3 horse-change stations, these equispaced at 3 mile intervals along the line. Some of these were also permanent stabling points, and some were equipped with a smithy.
At these stations the Up horse-hauled trains would pass the Down gravity-run trains. These gravity trains, which were controlled by brakesmen, travelled through the sections at 10mph, but were encouraged not to overrun the stations by the presence of a wooden gate.
The horse stations were at -
- Boston Lodge - smithy & large stable of horses, and horse change over point. Andrew Wilson, in The Festiniog Railway from 1950 states that "Boston Lodge Cottages were originally the barracks and stables when horses worked the line."
- Cae Ednyfed - smithy & large stable of horses, just north of Minffordd, serving Boston Lodge and Rhiw Goch
- Rhiw Goch - horse change over point & way-stable
- Hafod y Llyn (FR) - horse change over point & way-stable
- Tafarn Trip (near Garnedd Tunnel) - small stable serving Hafod y Llyn (FR) and Tunnel South Halt
- Tunnel South Halt (Moelwyn) - horse change point
- Quarry Terminus or Rhiwbryfdir - smithy & large stable of horses