Eirias Park Miniature Railway – Colwyn Bay
This Narrow Gauge Railway was started by Rich Morris and despite being a mostly portable operation was very well equipped. Some of the features included a ticket office, platform, guards van, semaphore signaling, card tickets and working oil lamps on the train.
The main loco was ‘Lynton’ a 7 1/4″ gauge 2-4-2T Tinkerbell style steam loco built for the railway by Narogauge of Christchurch in 1984. This was the first Tinkerbell loco to be built with this wheel arrangement.
The 2-seater, 4-person, 4-wheel passenger carriages originated from the Ledbury Light Railway from where additional carriages were later purchased.
A couple of battery-electric locos were also acquired – one from Bowleaze Cove and the other from Ledbury School. Both built by Tom Smith in the 1970s.
During the late 1980s the railway operated at a number of different locations throughout England and Wales.
In 1990 it was decided to regauge the line to 10 1/4″ to improve its stability. ‘Lynton’ was rebuilt into a 2-4-4T which also included raising the height of the cab and chimney.
The early 1990s saw the railway attending more portable events but in 1992 a permanent home was found in Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay. The scenic 400 yard loop of track was built and operated daily throughout the summer.
The line closed in 1996 and was relocated to a new home at Gloddfa Ganol Slate Mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog. However this was quite short-lived and only lasted a year or two before the site was closed to the public and all the equipment sold off.
Above from a home video supplied by Richard Powell – NWMES