Pwllheli and Llanbedrog Tramway
Map of the Pwllheli Corporation Tramways (red line) and Pwllheli and Llanbedrog Tramways (black
|Open||21 May 1894|
|Close||28 October 1927|
|Track gauge||3 ft (914 mm)|
|Route length||3.88 miles (6.24 km)|
The Pwllheli and Llanbedrog Tramway was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge horse tramway on the coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. It originally ran from Pwllheli town centre to the West End resort on the sea front, and was later extended to Llanbedrog. The tramway was one of many developed by Solomon Andrews.
The tramway was constructed shortly after Solomon Andrews purchased his land holdings in Pwllheli in 1893. It comprised a 2.5 mile stretch from the Carreg-y-defaid quarry, south west of Pwllheli to West End, for the purposes of carrying stone for the construction of the sea wall and The Parade. Construction was underway in May 1894 and the tramway was open by the summer of 1894.
The tramway timetable of 1 August 1896 shows the service from West End starting at 9.00am, running at 40 minute intervals until 8.20pm. The fare was 2d (equivalent to £0.87 in 2015) and toast-rack and covered single deck cars were in service. A horse bus provided a connection between West End and the town.
In the 12 months ending June 1895, 1332 wagon loads of stone were transported from the quarry. Unfortunately a storm in 1896 destroyed much of the line which had been laid along the beach. It was reconstructed further inland and opened shortly afterwards.
In 1898, Andrews purchased the estate at Llanbedrog including the large house of Glyn-y-weddw. The tramway was extended to Llanbedrog around the same time. Glyn-y-weddw was opened as an art gallery and this attracted holiday makers from the West End resort to use the tramway.
By 1909 the service had been reduced considerably. with further reductions in 1911. During the National Eisteddfod held in Pwllheli in 1925, the tramway was packed to capacity.
On 28 October 1927 a storm over the north Wales area drove the sea inland over half a mile along the Embankment Road, and long sections of the tramway were swept away. The tramway was offered to the local Corporation, but they declined the offer, and funds were not forthcoming for its reconstruction, and it never reopened.
- Turner 2003, p. 47.
- North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 26 May 1894
- The Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, 3 August 1894
- UK Consumer Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)", MeasuringWorth.com.
- Keep Moving. The Story of Solomon Andrews and His Family, John F. Andrews, November 1976. ISBN 0 900807 23 7
- Kidner, R. W. (1947). The Narrow Gauge Railways of Wales (3rd ed.). Catrine, Ayrshire: The Oakwood Press.
- Turner, Alun (2003). Gwynedd's Lost Railways. Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing. ISBN 9781840332599.