Talyllyn Railway has been awarded a prestigious Red Wheel plaque from the National Transport Trust.

The photograph shows the unveiling ceremony at Tywyn Wharf Station, attended by representatives of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, Gwynedd Council, Tywyn Town Council, the Senedd and National Transport Trust.

The Red Wheel Scheme was created by the National Transport Trust to recognise and commemorate the most significant sites of historical importance to transport heritage in the United Kingdom.

The most significant of these locations are marked by erecting a National Transport Trust Heritage Plaque or “Red Wheel” on the physical site.

Tom Rolt (L. T. C. Rolt) was one of the pioneers of cruising on Britain’s inland waterways, and was also an enthusiast for vintage cars and heritage railways. He played a pioneering role in the canal and railway preservation movements.

In the summer of 1950, he wrote a letter to the Birmingham Post newspaper suggesting that a rescue of the Talyllyn be undertaken. He received sufficient positive response for a meeting of interested enthusiasts on 11 October 1950 when Rolt proposed the formation of a committee to look into the acquisition of the railway. The committee met for the first time on 23 October and immediately entered into negotiation with Haydn Jones’ executors, owners of the railway.

The transfer took place on 8 February 1951, and the newly formed Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society effectively took control of the railway. The railway re-opened under the control of the society for the first time on the Whit Monday bank holiday, 14 May 1951, with trains running between Wharf and Rhydyronen stations. Regular trains began to run on 4 June and continued through the summer.

The railway is based at Tywyn and runs roughly eastward for over seven miles.