Blood on the tracks
in British railway enthusiasm
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In the nineteenth-century, millennial hopes have arrived for neither combatant in British preserved railways' most notorious struggle. A light railway order permitted the company to build a three-quarter-mile track along an abandoned standard-gauge formation from their new station to meet the Croesor Tramway's historic trackbed at Pen-y-Mount. This chapter shows that in 1990 Welsh Highland Railway passenger traffic presented no threat to Festiniog Railway prosperity; but it also shows that by then the Festiniog's best traffic years lay well in the past. The Welsh Highland Light Railway's brief and inglorious interwar existence might be expected to inspire no enthusiast to propose the doomed line's revival; but new times bring new opportunities. Though the old 1922 Company's attempt to commodify scenery crashed spectacularly, postwar success in packaging Welsh narrow-gauge steam for a booming tourist market suggested a second turn round this whirligig.


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