In 1950 the local MP for Towyn, Sir Henry Hadyn Jones died. Among his interests was a small railway line running up to slate quarries at Bryn Eglwys.
Gauge is was 2'3", the gauge used in local slate mines, and on a horse tramway which eventually became the Corris Railway. Few other railways in Britain used this gauge.
Tom Rolt, a canal preservationist wrote a letter to The Times, dated 1951 to invite volunteers to run the railway. This was the first of its kind.
The railway operated on "one engines in steam". The trains had no continuous brakes, Sir Henry Hadyn Jones wrangled this to continue so after the Armagh tragedy as long as locomotive speed did not exceed 10mph. Clearances were tight under bridges, so Captain Tyler ordered the track be slewed to one side, all doors locked on that side, and all platforms built on the other.
New locomotives were soon bought; Talyllyn was stored on display in a barn and Dolgoch was worn out. The two surviving Corris locomotives, 3 and 4 were purchased for £15 each from Swindon. Further locos were: Number 5, a diesel from Southampton docks; 6, a 2' gauge Andrew Barclay copy of an Orenstein and Koppel locomotive; and short lived 7, a car mounted on 2'3" wheels. A further 3' Andrew Barclay was bought from a Welsh Highland Railway enthusiast. This was slowly rebuilt into the new Number 7, "Tom Rolt"- the most powerful loco on the line. A number of small diesels are used, but not for passenger trains.
The Rev. W., Awdry's Skarloey Railway is based on the locomotives used on the line - over the years 3 and 4 have been repainted into red with faces at the front. Britt Alcroft tried to take offence and failed. As on the Skarloey railway, number 4 was fitted with a Giesel ejector, but this made little impact- she was efficient enough to start with. Number 4's driver had tomato plants at Pendre, which he jumped off to water as he went past. Coal is from Poland, as there are no Welsh Coal deep mines left.
Carriages include the originals from Brown, Marshall in Birmingham, along with the original brake van, a bogie coach survivor of the Corris Railway and Ex-Glyn Valley Tramway four wheelers. Trains consisting solely of this stock are used during the lines "Victorian Weekends". More Carriages were built from Penryn Quarry Railway stock and new build. Air Braking, using a system of steam powered pumps similar to Westinghouse was brought in during the 1980s.
Passenger trains originally stopped at Abergynolwyn, the line continuing via sharp curves to Nant Gwernol, where inclines connected it to the quarries, and one to Abergynolwyn village. The trackbed was widened and the line extended. Divisible staff and ticket replaced "one engine in steam", this changed to battery powered (some Solar powered) Electric Token, Staff and Ticket used on the extension. Up to three trains run a day- crossing at Quarry Siding, Brynglas and Abergynolwyn.
Special trains run for "Narrow Gauge Get Together" and Overnight running. The line warns its neighbours before these- though it was there first, and has a ban on whistles.