Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways Trust
The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways Trust or Ymddiriedolaeth Rheilffyrdd Ffestiniog ac Eryri is the majority shareholder of the Festiniog Railway Company. Originally the Festiniog Railway Trust, it has been renamed to reflect the expanded operation of the FR Co.
Shortly after Alan Pegler purchased a controlling interest in the Festiniog Railway Company, he set up a trust to take ownership of the shares he had purchased. This had the effect of making it clear that he could not profit from the restored FR, thereby allaying the fears of some members of the Ffestiniog Railway Society.
The shares bought by Alan Pegler and other shares which have since become available are now in the possession of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways Trust which was registered as a charity (No. 239904) on 4 March 1966. It now owns the majority of all classes of shares in the Company, giving it control but not outright ownership. The Charity Commission recognises the Cymraeg (Welsh) translation Ymddiriedolaeth Rheilffordd Ffestiniog as an alternative name for the Trust.
The Trust wholly owns both Ffestiniog Railway Holdings Limited, which trades as Ffestiniog Travel, and Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways Heritage Ltd. The Heritage Company should not to be confused with the Festiniog Railway Heritage Group or Welsh Highland Heritage Group, voluntary organisations and (in the FR case) the host of Festipedia.
There are five trustees, of whom one is nominated by the Society and one by the Company. The trustees are appointed by a committee consisting of the chairman of the Society, the chairman of the Company and the remaining trustees. This arrangement ensures that the Trust remains independent, protecting the long term future of the FR.
A list of trust members past and present, possibly not complete, can be found here. This list has been compiled from various sources.