Happy Birthday Welsh Highland Railway

The new Welsh Highland Railway has now been open for longer than the 1923 original, which closed after just 13 years.

Happy Birthday Welsh Highland Railway

Beyer Garratt NGG16 No. 143 at Caernarfon in 2007 (photo: Mick Stock)

On Thursday October 9th 1997 the Caernarfon-Dinas Light Railway Order came into force. The intention was to open the railway after the official opening on Monday 13th.

In the event, it was decided to run an unadvertised trial service over the weekend of the 11th and 12th. Despite the lack of publicity beyond word of mouth, members of the local communities turned out, and by Sunday afternoon trains were running about three-quarters full; many people came as curious onlookers but stayed to ride, perhaps encouraged by discounted fares.

The line was officially opened on the 13th by the Lady Mayor of Caernarfon, Mrs Mair Williams, with additional speeches from the Chairmen of the WHRS and the FR group, Dafydd Wigley MP, and a representative of the Millennium Commission. The regular public service started the following day, and ran daily until the planned winter closure on November 2nd.

British Heritage Railways

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