Edward Thomas and Tom Rolt arrive at Abergynolwyn on the Talyllyn Railway
Edward Thomas and Tom Rolt arrive at Abergynolwyn on the Talyllyn Railway
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The Talyllyn Railway have launched their Open Carriages Appeal to refurbish their most popular coaches on the railway – the open ones.

Talyllyns current set of open carriages have been in use for 60 years, though now they are showing signs of age, so the railway has decided its time to refurbish all open carriages in their fleet.

Talyllyn Open Carriages stand in the middle road during Talyllyn Steam at Night event
Talyllyn Open Carriages stand in the middle road during Talyllyn Steam at Night event

John Burton , who is Carriage Foreman at the Talyllyn Railway, explains what needs doing to the Open Carriages, “When built, longevity wasn’t very high up the list of design requirements. Whilst they have lasted 50-60 years, this has been at the expense of regular workshop attention. Their bodies are full of moisture traps (rather like the Mini I used to drive in the 1970s). This is aggravated by the amount of time they have spent outside, during the summer sitting on the middle road at Wharf, to be used for strengthening trains, and during the winter on some convenient siding because there was no room in a carriage shed. Treatment has shown up in peeling paintwork, uneven roofs and evidence of hurried patchwork repairs. This doesn’t give a very good impression to our passengers and uses volunteer time that could be devoted to maintaining the carriages that carry the majority of our passengers.”

The work that the Talyllyn have decided to complete is to give the open carriages a refurbished chassis, comprising new wheels, axles and roller bearing axle boxes and a new body.

On top of all the improvements being made, the Talyllyn Railway is going to be making ALL open carriages wheel chair accessible, meaning everyone can enjoy the Farthew Valley from an Open Carriage.

Expected cost of this work is going to be around £50,000 per carriage so the Open Carriages Appeal is to help the TR to find £200,000 to cover the cost of all Open Carriages on the line.

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.