Fairbourne Miniature Railway

Gauge: 1865 to 1916, 2ft (600mm); 1916 to 1986, 15in (380mm) and from 1986, 12¼in (311 mm)

The Fairbourne Miniature Railway runs for 2 miles from the village of Fairbourne on the Mid-Wales coast, to Barmouth Ferry railway station, where there is a ferry connection across the Mawddach estuary to the seaside resort of Barmouth.

Starting life as a 60cm constructor’s line, horse drawn passenger cars were soon introduced to carry passengers to the beach and historic ferry crossing to Barmouth. In 1916 the line was purchased and converted to a 15 inch gauge steam railway by W J Bassett-Lowke of Narrow Gauge Railways Ltd. Several changes of ownership followed and there was a brief period of operation as dual gauge 18in and 15in gauge.

In 1947 John Wilkins who was also a partner in Servis Washing Machines bought the line and funded the redevelopment of the railway and the purchase of new steam locomotives. The line was sold again in 1984 to the Ellerton family and underwent dramatic changes including construction of a new station at Fairbourne and re-gauging to 12¼ inches.

New owners Professor and Mrs Atkinson and Dr and Mrs Melton bought the line in April 1995, financed renewals and new developments, and created a Trust to own the line.

Current locomotive fleet

Number / NameManufacturerTypeNotes
SherpaMilner Engineering 19780-4-0STEx-Réseau Guerlédan 1986
RussellMilner Engineering / Fairbourne Locomotive Works 19792-6-4TEx-Réseau Guerlédan in 1986. Rebuilt from ‘Elaine’, a Leek and Manifold model 1985.
BeddgelertDavid Curwen 19790-6-4STEx-Réseau Guerlédan 1986
YeoDavid Curwen 19782-6-2TEx-Réseau Guerlédan 1986
Gwril (2)Hunslet Engine Co. 19944wDHEx-Alan Keef 2007
TonyGuest Engineering / Fairbourne Locomotive Works 1961A1-1AOriginally “Sylvia” re-gauged from 15in

Former 15in locomotives

Number / NameManufacturerTypeNotes
Prince Edward of WalesBassett-Lowke 19154-4-2From 1916 to Southport 1923
KatieArthur Percival Heywood 18960-4-0TEx-Eaton Hall Railway 1923 to 1926
Count LouisBassett-Lowke 19244-4-2From 1925 to 1987
Prince CharlesGuest Engineering 19464-6-2Ex-Dudley Zoo 1960 to 1961
Ernest W TwiningGuest Engineering 19504-6-2Ex-Dudley Zoo 1960 to 1984
SiânGuest Engineering 19632-4-2From 1963 to 1985
Katie (2)Guest Engineering 19542-4-2Ex-Dudley Zoo 1965 to 1985
Whippit QuickR A Lister & Company 19350-4-0DM, rebuilt 1950 as 0-4-4From 1935 to 1975
GwrilR A Lister & Company 19430-4-0DMFrom 1947 to 1985
DingoWilkins and Mitchell 1949B-BFrom 1952. Dismantled 1974
RachelGuest Engineering 19610-6-0From 1961 to 1984
Tracy JoGuest Engineering 19642-6-2 Steam OutlineFrom 1964 to 1966

Former 18in locomotive

Number / NameManufacturerTypeNotes
No.1Regent Street Polytechnic 18964-2-2From 1926 to 1936