N S Wales

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

New South Wales is an English speaking colony/state located about as far away from Wales and its Festinog Railway as you can get.

It is so named for its supposed resemblance to South Wales, kangaroos excepted.

Newspapers in NSW would repeat slabs of material found in English newspapers which, before the era of undersea cable telegraph, took months to arrive by ship.

Development of railways in the UK were closely monitored with interest, including, say, the construction, opening, and operation of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

As NSW was and still is a vast area with a sparse population, even after separation of 4 other colonies, the problem of building cheap railways eventually surfaced. Cheap railways, rather than no railways at all, came to mean narrow gauge railways, foremost of which was the Festiniog Railway, both horse drawn and locomotive hauled. Thus the innovative Fairlie Locomotive was also reported. Also Carl Pihl of Norwegian narrow gauge fame.

Railway Timeline[edit]

  • 1848 - South Australia passes act to require 4' 8½ (1435mm) gauge. New South Wales and Victoria follow suit.
  • 1852approx - muddle results in adoption of both 5' 3" (1600mm) and 4' 8½ (1435mm) gauges.
  • 1860approx - first newspaper report of narrow gauge (Festiniog Railway).
  • 1861approx - Queensland adopts narrow 3' 6" (1067mm) gauge.
  • 1880approx - different gauges start to meet causing perennial Break of gauge problems, which are still a problem in 2017.


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