Gorseddau Tramway

Gauge: 1ft 11½in (600mm) and 3ft (915mm)

 

Collection Objects

Number Railway Object Type Description Image
TYWRM:GT001.1 Gorseddau Tramway rail chair Cast iron carrying chair; 5 lb weight; for T-section rail c.1863 file GT001-1.jpg
TYWRM:GT001.2 Gorseddau Tramway rail chair Cast iron carrying chair; 5 lb weight; for T-section rail c.1863 file GT001-2.jpg
TYWRM:GT001.3 Gorseddau Tramway rail chair Cast iron carrying chair; 5 lb weight; for T-section rail c.1863 file GT001-3.jpg
TYWRM:GT002 Gorseddau Tramway certificate The Gorsedda Junction and Portmadoc Railways Company share certificate dated 1875 file GT002.jpg

The 3 foot gauge Gorseddau Tramway was built in the slate boom years after the Crimean War. Completed in 1857 it linked the quarry and its village of Gorseddau to Portmadog, eight miles away. Quarry access to the Tramway was via an incline, from where the line went to an impressive mill, unusual in having several floors, for finishing the slate as roofing material or slabs. At Tremadog the Tramway joined the route of the old, disused Portmadoc and Penmorfa Railway, built in the 1830s to serve an ironstone mine, which used the 3 foot gauge Portmadoc Cob tramway made redundant by the Festiniog Railway. At Portmadog the Tramway left the old route to make its more direct way to join the Festiniog tracks at the harbour.

One of the best engineered tramways, the Gorseddau was the least used. Like the Penrhyn and Dinorwic railways it was the private line of the quarry. It did carry goods up to the quarry village but never passengers, at least not officially. Gorseddau Quarry’s very brief career was ended within ten years.

In 1875 the defunct line was relaid to 2ft gauge and extended four miles to serve the newly opened Prince of Wales Quarry. A De Winton locomotive, Pert, was used, the only one to run across open country rather than in a quarry. This venture was defunct by 1892.

Two pictures by DJ Mitchell of the remains.

ZZGT001

ZZGT002

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