Padarn Railway

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Padarn Railway
Locale Wales
Dates of operation 1841 – 1961
Successor line Llanberis Lake Railway
Track gauge 4 ft (1219 mm)
Headquarters Llanberis
The Padarn Railway locomotive shed at Penscoins in 2005
Map of the Padarn Railway

The Padarn Railway was a narrow gauge railway line in Wales, built to the unusual gauge of 4 ft (1219 mm), originally built to carry slate. It was opened in 1824 as a tramway for the Dinorwic Quarry, and converted to a railway in 1843. It closed in 1961. The line ran from Gilfach Ddu near Llanberis to Port Dinorwic.

An unusual feature of the railway were the transporter waggons. These 4 ft. gauge vehicles were flat wagons with two parallel 1 ft 1034 in (578 mm) gauge tracks on them. Loaded slate wagons of 1 ft 1034 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 two foot gauge incline which led to the quayside.

Since closure, part of its route has been reopened as the 2 ft (610 mm) gauge Llanberis Lake Railway.


Name Builder Type Date Works number Notes
Fire Queen Horlock and Company 0-4-0 tender 1848 Withdrawn 1886, now preserved at the Penrhyn Castle Industrial Museum
Jenny Lind Horlock and Company 0-4-0 tender 1848 Withdrawn 1880s, scrapped.
Dinorwic Hunslet 0-6-0T 1882 302 Scrapped 1963
Pandora Hunslet 0-6-0T 1886 410 Renamed Amalthea in 1909. Scrapped 1963
Velinheli Hunslet 0-6-0T 1895 631 Scrapped 1963
Hardy Hardy Motors Ltd. 4wPM 1925 954 Scrapped 1963

See also