Narrow Gauge Wales

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The Industrial Tramways Of The Vale Of Llangollen

J.R. Thomas & D.W. Southern    [Publisher:  Oakwood  2013]    Softback    72 pages

A pleasing survey of the various industrial railways both narrow and standard gauge that existed around Llangollen, mainly involving quarrying operations of one sort or another. Well illustrated with photographs and including several detail and location maps.

A North Wales Railway Travelogue

Donald Peddie    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2014]    Softback    96 pages

A very pleasing photographic tour of the railways of North Wales, predominantly the narrow gauge systems, early preservation and the last lingering commercial quarry related operations, but also including standard gauge. All photographs were taken by the late Ian Peddie, many from on railway property, and the captions written by his son Donald draw upon extensive notes made at the time.

Rails Along The Fathew The Story Of The Talyllyn Railway

Ian Drummond    [Publisher:  Holne Publishing  2015]    Hardback    224 pages

A stylish hardback using the author's distinctive style and presentation, recounting the history of the Talyllyn. I've not read it all, but it strikes me as being a worthwhile account, the pictures are especially good at showing the changes and developments of the railway, especially in the preservation era. The author was involved from the mid 1970s as a volunteer and the writing benefits from this I think.

Slate, Sail And Steam

John Idris Jones    [Publisher:  Amberley Publishing  2016]    Softback    96 pages

Nicely produced and illustrated, this is a story of three industries that grew up on the Welsh coast. In the words of the author, a sory of human interconnectedness and cooperation, of invention created by necessity, of businesses, industries and communities born out of a determination to advance, prosper and succeed. The pictures are good too!

Snowdon Mountain Railway Llanberis

Norman Jones    [Publisher:  Foxline  1997]    Hardback    64 pages

A very appealing picture album and description of the only British rack railway. Photographs cover the line from early days to the present, (well 1997 to be precise), but the undoubted photographic highlight of the collection are Norman's lovely series of colour views taken in 1961, well reproduced to a good size and with very natural looking colours.

Tales of the Old Corris

Gwyn Briwnant Jones    [Publisher:  Gomer  2008]    Softback    64 pages

Another very appealing collection of previously unpublished photographs and further stories and recollections from the Corris Railway. The author has worked hard and with the help of a number of other individuals, all acknowledged in the book, has assembled another remarkable look back at this narrow gauge backwater, currently undergoing a minor but very pleasing revival. The book is beautifully put together and produced, I think my favourite image is that of driver William Roberts photographed with his son Ieuan on the running plate of No 3 in 1914 - wonderful.

The Welsh Highland Railway Volume 1: A Phoenix Rising

John Stretton    [Publisher:  Silver Link  2007]    Softback    96 pages

Capturing the then nascent Welsh Highland Railway at a most interesting stage of its re-birth, this book has well reproduced and knowledgably captioned photographs and graphically demonstrate the huge achievements being made together with the scale of the remaining challenge. Having visited and travelled on the line myself late in 2005 and since, and personally witnessed the extraordinary developments, I can recommend both the line and this excellent book.

The Welsh Highland Railway Volume 2: Halfway to Paradise

John Stretton    [Publisher:  Silver Link  2004]    Softback    128 pages

Volume two of a trilogy covering this remarkable railway re-birth, published when the new railway had reached the lower slopes of Snowdon and containing a fascinating mixture of historic and current views. Having been on the completed railway and looking back at this book again, the pictures have become more interesting than they were when published because so much has changed, again. Truly mind boggling.

The Welsh Highland Railway Volume 3: Ain't no stoppin' us now!

John Stretton    [Publisher:  Silver Link  2009]    Softback    128 pages

Reprinted in 2011, this book is the final part of a trilogy from this author covering the remarkable rebuilding of the Welsh Highland Railway. Completed in an astonishingly short space of time, the re-birth of this ambitious upland route is truly staggering and up until the beginning of the 1990s was pretty much inconceivable. Good photographic coverage of the historic railway is accompanied by matched views of the new line, at the time of publication there was a tiny bit left to be done at Porthmadoc but pretty much the whole of the "finished job" as at opening in 2011 is illustrated here.