Trawling the worldwide web regarding Trawsfynydd and the Branch to Bala, has revealed some interesting snippets of information. One of which is this below that I found HERE!
Written by an Eddie Bellass, regarding a rather interesting journey from Blaenau to Bala, in September 1959.
My 7 months pregnant wife and I were waiting to catch the day’s last, one coach train down to Bala Junction. There we’d change into a train from Barmouth to Chester, where a further change would get us home to Earlestown on a North Wales-Manchester express.
While being run round and temporarily stabled to allow for some freight stock shunting, the single ex-GW non-corridor brake coach was derailed on some dodgy pointwork. No amount of old fishplates and sleeper packing would persuade it back on the rails. The last LMR train from Blaenau Ffestiniog North station to Llandudno Jn. had gone and no taxi could be found.
We and one other passenger were invited up with the crew of the ex Great Western 0-6-0 Pannier Tank locomotive and off we chugged, five in the cab, with my wife turning her ‘bump’ through 90 deg. whenever the fireman needed to put on a round of coal — not very often due to running downhill almost all the way.
The other passenger alighted at Trawsfynnydd but two more joined, one with a bike! This was put up on the flat top of the tanks. With six up, the name of the game was to avoid the rise and fall of the rear driving wheel springs which protruded into the cab on either side of the firebox. The extra two people and one bike disembarked at Arenig and we remained at four up into Bala Junction, where the connecting train had been held for us.
On a remote railway branch like that one, operations were conducted very much in a ‘family’ manner, with no questions asked as long as the job got done.
Photo © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.