Talyllyn Railway reopens Tywyn cafe – with open carriages being used

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Open carriages used as cafe reopens at the Talyllyn Railway
Credit: Talyllyn Railway

The Talyllyn Railway has confirmed that its cafe at Tywyn Wharf welcomed back visitors this week for the first time since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Talyllyn Railway’s general manager Stuart Williams said visitors were able to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and snack or meal in a picnic train that doesn’t move off the platform.

Stuart arranged for three open carriages to be brought down to Wharf where visitors can sit and enjoy their refreshments.

Wharf station already has an outdoor seating area under the station canopy.

Open carriages used as cafe reopens at the Talyllyn Railway
Credit: Talyllyn Railway

“We’ve had a good first day, taking more than £200, which is good considering the rainy weather,” said Mr Williams. “We seem to be one of the few places open in the area where visitors can get a cuppa or a meal.

“We are restarting train services from 1st August and went live with the news and bookings on Friday morning. We have been overwhelmed by the interest, with more than 200 people booking on in the first 48 hours.”

For the first week of reopening, the railway will run one return train from Tywyn Wharf to Nant Gwernol.

From the 8th August 2020, there will be four return trains, but capacity on trains will be limited to 50%.

“Bearing in mind that we normally carry around 700 passengers a day at this time of the year, the capacity will be severely restricted, but it’s something we must do to keep passengers, staff and volunteers safe,” added Mr Williams.

“It will be a slightly different passenger experience, but at least our trains will be running again.”

When a train arrives back at Tywyn Wharf, staff and volunteers have 90 minutes to deep clean the carriages before use later in the day. There will be screens between compartments, and a fogging machine will be used.

Local MP, Liz Saville-Roberts, has agreed to flag away the first train to reopen the railway on 1st August.

An appeal was launched to help the line through the pandemic has raised £107,500 to date.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Who’d of Thought, That Nearly 70 Years Ago next year in 2021… That the Talyllyn Railway would se some of it’s own Beloved Open Coaching Stock be used as part of Reopening it’s own Cafe… Let Alone see said open carriages be used as an outdoor Cafe In-Between.

    From What I’m Learning from… This is Quite A Highlight within the UK Preservation Movement,

    Let’s Hope the Terrific Talyllyn Railway… (Which I Myself still hope to visit ‘in-person’ someday) still has A Future, Especially as it Reaches/Celebrates 70 Years of Being A Preserved/Heritage Railway next year in 2021.

    Furthermore… The Talyllyn Railway was indeed where the Dearly-Departed Reverend W. Awdry once Volunteered, let alone inspired his Creation of the ”Skarloey Railway” and it’s own fleet of Narrow-Gauge Engine Characters.

  2. My 38 year association with the TR always noted innovation of one sort or another, this is just another brilliant idea to get the railway back to the people. Well done, TR!

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