Map of the Padarn Railway
The Padarn Railway locomotive shed at Penscoins in 2005
|Dates of operation||1842–1961|
|Successor||Llanberis Lake Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft (1,219 mm)|
The Padarn Railway was a narrow gauge railway line in Wales, built to the unusual gauge of 4 ft (1,219 mm). It was built to carry slate from the Dinorwic Quarry ( to )Port Dinorwic ( It opened in 1842, ). replacing the previous Dinorwic Railway. The Padarn Railway closed on the 3rd November 1961.
An unusual feature of the railway were the transporter wagons. These 4 ft (1,219 mm) gauge vehicles were flat wagons with two parallel 1 ft 10 3⁄4 in (578 mm) gauge tracks on them. Loaded slate wagons of 1 ft 10 3⁄4 in (578 mm) gauge - the gauge used on the extensive internal system at the quarry - were wheeled onto the transporter wagons and carried four at a time down to their destination at Port Dinorwic where they were unloaded via a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge incline which led to the quayside.
|Fire Queen||Horlock and Company||0-4-0 tender||1848||Withdrawn 1886, now preserved at the Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum at Penrhyn Castle|
|Jenny Lind||Horlock and Company||0-4-0 tender||1848||Withdrawn 1880s, scrapped.|
|Pandora||Hunslet||0-6-0T||1886||410||Renamed Amalthea in 1909. Scrapped 1963|
|Velinheli||Hunslet||0-6-0T||1895||631||Dismantled for major overhaul 1953, majority of parts scrapped 1963|
|Hardy||Hardy Motors Ltd.||4wPM||1925||954||Scrapped 1963|
In 1963 Velinheli was in pieces in the railways workshops at Gilfach Ddu having been out of traffic since 1953 for major overhaul, a task which was never completed. Whilst the majority of this locomotive was scrapped certain items survive & are now on display within the National Slate Museum at Gilfach Ddu. Surviving items include: side tanks (complete with nameplate Velinheli on one side only), chimney, sand boxes & ash-pan. The identity of all these remaining parts as belonging solely to Velinheli cannot be confirmed due to the swapping of locomotive parts, a common practice during the operation of the quarries various railway systems.
Llanberis Lake Railway
- Boyd, James I.C. (1986). Narrow Gauge Railways in North Caernarvonshire, Volume Three: The Dinorwic Quarry and Railways, The Great Orme Tramway and Other Rail Systems. The Oakwood Press.