Moelwyn Halt

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Moelwyn Halt
Moelwyn Halt.gif
Type Halt
Status Closed, no longer exists
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Moelwyn Halt is one of the stations of the Festiniog Railway that has disappeared with time and the pumped storage construction. It was located just after the mouth of the northern portal of the Old Moelwyn Tunnel, at a point some 10 2/3 miles from Porthmadog. There is now no trace visible from the current line.

On leaving the 1842 tunnel (750 yards), by a short walled cutting, there comes a widening to the left where Moelwyn Halt (10 miles 60 chains from Zero) was situate. Just before the halt was a warehouse, whilst on the right is Moelwyn Cottage - formerly the Gatekeeper's Cottage - where the northern tunnel telegraph instruments were installed.

Moelwyn Cottage was known also incorrectly as Tunnel Cottage, and dates from about 1863, the same time as Coed y Bleiddiau, and just before the start of steam working. There was evidence of some more cottages, apparently called Tunnel Cottages, which were adjacent to the horse route before it joined the 1842 route. As at Minffordd, a letter box occupied a space in the wall.

In his autobiography Bywyd Bach, Gwyn Thomas (National Poet for Wales in 2006, who lived as a boy in Tanygrisiau) recalls how he and a friend from Buarth Melyn "went over to Capel Cedron, which was at the mouth of the old tunnel of the Lein Bach." This would seem to be the only reference to such a building.

Two sidings veer off to the right, The first and earlier one dates from around 1857, whilst the second branch, a few yards on, replaced this in the late 19th, and passes through a gate and leads into what was latterly Brookes' Quarry.

In former years, the junction for a predecessor was nearer the tunnel mouth. The Syenite Sett Co. and the Elterwater Powder Co. (lease ended 1889) have both used this line in the past. The second siding, for Brookes' was laid about 1913 with it being inspected in April 1914. Brookes gave the Railway much granite setts and chippings traffic, most of which went Up to Blaenau where a special tippler discharged their wagons in the L.M.S. yard. Brookes was one of a handful of customers, mostly slate companies, whose wagons traversed the main line, and the Top Shunter would come down to Moelwyn Halt to collect this extra traffic, which used FR-owned Ex-German War Dept. wagons.

After passing the site of yet another gate on the main line, and to the west, is the siding to a mine which in its time has produced lead, zinc and slate: Moelwyn Mine. It had a chequered career but was fully opened during the First War when the zinc ran out, giving way to slate. At that time the branch lines were relaid in heavy flat-bottomed rails, the only line connected to the Railway laid in this manner. Working from here ceased in the early 1920s (10 miles 65 chains), though the lines were not removed until much later.

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