It began as a freight line for mines and other industries to service the mountain towns of Wales during the 1860's, but eventually became both a freight and passenger line during the 1880's, and eventually ceased full operation during the 1940's, but eventually grew into a tourist railway with locomotives from other railways being added into service, as well as building their own unique types of diesel locomotives.
None of the locomotives have been fully retired, nor has the railway ever closed. Hence, the railway being famous for operating some of the oldest and smallest steam locomotives to have never been fully retired.
What's also unique about the railway, is the fact that they name locomotives and rolling stock rather than numbering them; yet they began numbering once the railway grew. They also have locomotives preserved on static display in their narrow-gauge museum.
- All of the locomotives listed are named after words originating from the original Welsh langauge.
- Talyllyn (No. 1)- Built during the 1860's. (Original locomotive.) (Named after the railway; first locomotive to arrive and operate as well.)
- Dolgoch (No. 2)- Built during the 1860's. (Original locomotive.) (Named after location on railway.)
- Sir Haydn (No. 3)- Built during the 1870's; former Corris Railway locomotive. (Named after former manager.)
- Edward Thomas (No. 4)- Built during the 1920's; former Corris Railway locomotive. (Named after former manager.)
- Midlander (No. 5)- Built during the 1940's, by Ruston & Hornsby locomotive works
- Douglas (No. 6)- Built during the 1930's. to 2 foot gauge, was purchased by the railway in the 1960's and re-gauged to 2 foot 3 inches, to run on the Talyllyn.
- Tom Rolt (No. 7)- Built during the late-1940's. (Former Irish Locomotive (rebuilt from parts of that loco and parts from the works at Pendre on the railway itself); named after the famous British author and member of the railway society, Tom Rolt.)
- Merseysider (No. 8)- Built during the 1960's. (Rebuilt diesel locomotive.)
- Alf (No. 9)- Built during the 1960's. (Rebuilt diesel locomotive.)
- Bryn Eglwys (No. 10)- Built during the 1980's. (Load test unit; former industrial locomotive.)
- Guinness Brewery Locomotive- Built during the 1880's. (Static display.)
- Railway Series - Locomotives or engines are "dressed-up" as their Thomas the Tank Engine counterparts to appeal to younger children.
- Race The Train - A special cross-country event to where cross-country or track runners race alongside one of the trains, and whoever is in first place and beats the train, wins.
- Doubleheader - When any two locomotives pull at the head end together.
- Corris Gala (Corris Special) - A series of special events with having former Corris Railway No. 7 teamed-up with Edward Thomas, Tom Rolt, and Sir Haydn as a tribute to being some of the only former Corris Railway locomotives preserved.
- The diesel locomotives are primarily used as spare units or engines, as well as for moving track equipment for inspections and repairs.
- Most of the narrow-gauge locomotives owned by the Talyllyn Railway have never had an actual class or type name, to whom they are referred to by their wheel arrangements with Edward Thomas being an exception as stated below.
http://www.talyllyn.co.uk/ (Official website.)