Quarries Served By The Festiniog Railway
By the 1870s the Festiniog Railway was connected to some 16 quarries by over 30 inclines, either by direct connection, or by the 2 main feeder tramways (i.e. Rhiwbach & Cwm Orthin). Indeed the combined length of the various quarry lines and spurs (some 14 miles) marginally exceeded the length of the main line itself.
A splendid map of the area is included in a book by Graham Isherwood called Slate- From Blaenau Ffestiniog, and is reproduced here
Quarries served (in order up the line) included:
- Brooke's Quarry - granite quarry connected directly to the FR
- Moelwyn Quarry (Moelwyn Mawr & Moelwyn Bach) - connected directly to the FR by an impressive series of 7 inclines.
- Wrysgan Quarry - connected directly to the FR (1872) by impressive parabolic incline just below Tanygrisiau.
- Groby Granite Quarry - connected to the FR via the Groby Branch
- The Cwm Orthin Tramway, which connected directly by Cwmorthin Quarry Incline to the FR above Tanygrisiau served -
- Nyth-y-gigfran Quarry (Glan-y-pwll & Gloddfa Twm Ifan James) - connected directly to the FR by incline at Glan-y-pwll.
- The Dinas Branch (originally the "main-line") served on its western side -
- and on its eastern side -
- Llechwedd Quarry (Greaves, incl. Tal y Weinydd) which linked directly by incline to the FR (1852).
- The "Diffwys Branch" (later to become the main-line to Blaenau Ffestiniog) served -
- Diffwys (Diphwys Casson, incl. Henwaith, Penfridd & Twll Newydd) connected with the FR in 1860 via the Bowydd incline (later to become No.1 incline of the Rhiwbach Tramway). Direct incline connection to FR in 1863.
- Maenofferen Quarry (incl. David Jones') connected to the FR via the Diffwys & (later) Rhiwbach inclines.
- Votty And Bowydd Quarry (Chwarel Lord Newborough, & Percival's) connected directly to the FR in 1854, later using Rhiwbach Tramway incline No. 1, and later still a direct incline link to the FR at Duffws.
- The Rhiwbach Tramway of 1863 (which utilised the former Bowydd incline referred to above) also served -
- The Festiniog and Blaenau Railway also linked to the Festiniog Railway and in turn connected to:
An invaluable source of information on the slate quarries of the area (and from where some information has been taken) are the following 3 books by Alun John Richards -
- "A Gazeteer of the Welsh Slate Industry", 1991
- "The Slate Railways of Wales", 2001
- "The Slate Regions of N & S Wales and their Railways", 1999, all published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
The author has his website here.