Template:Featured article/December 2018

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A view of a gravity slate train passing Rhoslyn House at Dduallt station, dating from between 1900 & 1910.

Gravity slate trains are loaded slate trains worked down hill without any locomotive attached, relying only on gravity to propel them. Whilst not unique to the Festiniog Railway, gravity trains are particularly associated with that line.

The Festiniog Railway was originally surveyed by James Spooner with gravity working in mind and had a continuous gradient all the way from the terminus at Blaenau Ffestiniog to Boston Lodge. The last mile or so across the Cob is on the level. Gravity trains continued to operate on the Festiniog Railway until the withdrawal of the passenger service at the start of the Second World War.

Gravity working was used to a limited extent on works trains after the railway's revival in the 1950s and '60s. More recently demonstration gravity slate trains have been re-introduced as an attraction at events and on other special occasions. (more...)

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