Ghosts of Aberglaslyn – False Starts and Dashed Hopes – the brief life of the Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway by John Manners
If the aspirations of the promoters of the Portmadoc, Beddgelert & South Snowdon Railway (PBSSR) had been realised, electric trains might now be carrying passengers between Porthmadog and Caernarfon. Incorporated in 1901 but never opened to traffic, the PBSSR scheme involved politicians and businessmen from England and Wales, including the father of a famous orchestra conductor, a company based in Scotland and technology from a Hungarian locomotive builder.
The heady and fascinating story of political manoeuvrings, dashed hopes, obstructionism and technology is the subject of this well researched new book, ‘Ghosts of Aberglaslyn’ by John Manners, who was until his retirement a design engineer with Parsons Peebles Generation Ltd, the successor company to Bruce Peebles & Company that supplied the electrical equipment for the PBSSR.
In the book, John Manners takes a detailed look at the design, technology and building of the PBSSR and the plans for electrifying the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (NWNGR) line from Rhyd Ddu to Dinas. He sets it within the story of narrow gauge railways in North Wales including how at least six electric locomotives were built but none delivered and how a power station was constructed that still generates electricity today. The legacy includes the Leeds built steam locomotive “Russell” and the unused bridge by the Goat Hotel at Beddgelert and nearby bridge abutments. 120 pp s/b