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British Industrial History

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Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway

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of Llanberis

1901 The Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway was incorporated in 1901 but never opened to traffic. [1]

1903 Purchased the Portmadoc, Croesor and Beddgelert Railway. The total mileage authorised is 12.5, of which 4.5 has been constructed, and is being worked by a horse traction, the remainder being under construction. [2]

The proposal was for a 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm) gauge electric railway using three phase alternating current - a system devised by Ganz of Budapest. Ten electric locomotives were ordered from Bruce Peebles and Co of Edinburgh (who held a licence from Ganz) and at least six were actually built, although none were delivered. All six were scrapped during the first world war. The electrification project was abandoned about 1906 and a steam locomotive "Russell" was ordered from the Hunslet Engine Co of Leeds.

The North Wales Power and Traction Co Ltd, the sole backer of the Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway, overspent on the Power Station it was building. The Power Station started generating electricity in September 1906, but meanwhile, completion of the railway and electrifying the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway (NWNGR) under an agreement of November 1904 took a back seat, and in January 1906 J.C. Russell (Chairman and Managing Director of the NWNGR) insisted on terms for a two year delay which included expenditure on "restoring the NWNGR for present steam working and providing one steam locomotive a sum not exceeding £2,500" - which resulted in the arrival of Russell as NWNGR property. In the event this delay led to an abandonment.

The P.B.S.S.R. and N.W.N.G.R. were later amalgamated and became the Welsh Highland Railway. Some work undertaken for the P.B.S.S.R. was used for the Welsh Highland. The unused bridge ("Bridge to nowhere") by the Goat Hotel at Beddgelert and nearby bridge abutments in a field are some of the remains of the 1906 construction works.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908