Talyllyn Railway’s proposed £3.5 million redevelopment project moves a step closer

A major redevelopment project on Talyllyn Railway has moved a step closer thanks to initial £110,000 support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This funding will allow the railway to develop a full application for more than £1 million towards the £3.5 million estimated cost of redeveloping Tywyn Pendre and Tywyn Wharf stations.

Titled ‘Preserving our Past, Building Our Future’, the project will include the construction of a new engineering works, carriage maintenance and storage at Tywyn Pendre station.

The existing works will be restored to include an accessible heritage display about the history of engineering on the railway and those who worked on it.

A new heritage facility and interpretation centre will also be developed at Tywyn Wharf and the station building which will be remodelled to provide a street level main entrance and an enlarged café and shop within the existing structure.

Increased engagement with different groups, particularly those with autism, is a major part of the bid. The aim will be to provide a safe venue for autistic people and their families to experience a steam train journey.

Increasing the number and range of volunteers is another key aspect, with plans to convert Trefri, a property owned by the railway adjacent to Tywyn Wharf station, to provide additional volunteer accommodation.

General manager Stuart Williams is delighted that the railway has secured funding to develop a full bid to the NLHF for the project.

“It brings our plans one step closer to reality and we would like to thank the fund for their assistance in getting us to this stage, as well as everyone else who was involved in this application,” he said.

“Now, the hard work really begins to develop the full bid and provide the railway with the people and facilities it needs for the future.”

The railway will be launching a major appeal to help raise the rest of the money required for the project. It’s hoped that the bulk of the work will be underway in time for the railway’s 75th anniversary as the world’s first preserved railway in 2026.

Picture caption:

An impression of how the new heritage building – curved building centre right – will fit into the existing Wharf station.