Film: 5011

Railways | 1980 | Sound | Colour


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The Ffestiniog railway in North Wales 1980's

Porthmadog Station sign. Great little train steaming out of Porthmadog station. Long shot of steam train as it crosses causeway. On the footplate and shots from the footplate of the estuary. Rostrum stills of early trucks and trains of the Ffestiniog Railway. Archive footage of Bessie Jones the station mistress at Tan Y Bwlch in her full Welsh national costume regalia of big black hat and shawl in the 1930's. She hands single line working token to engine driver. Looks a bit contrived to me.
Colour footage of inside of carriage as drinks trolley is offered to passengers. Can of Coca cola offered. Man drinks pint of beer. Aerial footage of the deviation part of the track. Train enters tunnel. The volunteers constructing the replacment two and a half miles of track. They even built a new tunnel. Emptying truck of excavated ballast on the side of the track.
Grand opening day in June 1978. Station sign and station of Tanygrisiau. Train enthusiasts. Pretty waterfall. Tanygrisiau and tourists emerging from the station. Minibus trip to the exciting power station - very popular with the tourists. Bus tour to the dams a further 1000 feet up the mountainside. On train as we travl into Blaenau Ffestiniog. The railway station. Official opening on a glorious day on 30th April 1983. Speaker of the House of Commons, George Thomas MP declared the restored railway open and waves a green railwayman's flag. Both Ffestiniog and British Rail trains leave station together on twin tracks. As George Thomas speaks we see glorious images of the countryside along the track. Visitors' centre with slate exhibition. Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Tourists riding on little railway into heart of slate mine. Britain's steepest underground passenger railway. Gloddfa Ganol, the world's largest slate mine. Man cutting large slates. Aerial shots of Porthmadog. Street in the town. A slate gift shop with clocks and pictures. Woollen gifts from nearby woollen mill which is still partly water-powered. Large looms weaving traditional Welsh designs. Men wearing ear protectors. Sign to Porthmadog Pottery. Maritime Museaum with model ship. A rocky inlet. A sandy beach with car driving along it and people playing cricket. Young man rock climbing in Snowdonia. Porthmadog railway station ticket office. The platform with a woman and dog. Locomotive 'Prince' pulling a train. Prince is the oldest steam loco in the world still operating on its original line. Locomotive 'Mountaineer'. The repair workshops with cutting and welding going on. The double engine 'Earl of Merionneth' steaming along. Tan Y Bwlch station. Rhododendrons. The Snowdonia National Park study centre - Plas Tan Y Bwlch. A train trip in particularly bad weather. Tourists wearing wet weather gear. Very dark and wet. Lake and mountains.
Christmas and the Santa Special train. Santa Claus or Father Christmas waiting on platform for train. In carriages with children. Santa Special passes through level crossing. Another train at two different level crossings.

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