Prior to taking over the trackbed of the old Dolgarrog Works Railway Siding, we were based on a site at Tal y Cafn in the Conwy Valley. This site belonged to the local agricultural auctioneers. We were then known as the Conway Valley Railway Society. Whilst there we obtained our locomotive, ‘Taurus’, and our other rolling stock, and it was there that these were restored.
Our involvement with the Dolgarrog Siding commenced at the time when the Tal y Cafn Agricultural Market closed following the foot and mouth outbreak. We had previously approached the Alco Company who were then operating the Aluminium Factory at Dolgarrog, about the possibility of taking a lease on the trackbed of the old siding, but were told that they were unable to consider the matter at the time.
Following their closure, fairly shortly afterwards, a company headed by Roy Johnson as Managing Director, took over the factory and continued the production of aluminium goods. When we approached the new company, Mr. Johnson replied very positively to our enquiry, as he was himself a railway enthusiast, and he offered us a thirty year lease on the trackbed.
We were presented with the lease of the Dolgarrog trackbed by the Dolgarrog Aluminium Company in May 2004 and we moved our locomotive and rolling stock to Dolgarrog from Tal y Cafn in June 2005, having cleared the site of many years’ growth of vegetation, therefore we have now been at Dolgarrog for almost twelve years.
In the intervening years we have fully fenced our HQ site, and installed a Portakabin, as a mess room, and a block built toilet with disabled access. Electricity, water, and sewerage facilities have also been installed. The HQ Site is now fully laid with rail and points, fully ballasted, and our platform is almost complete and will offer disabled access.
A few years ago our site was purchased by Ainscough Strategic Land, following the demise of the Aluminium Company. They are now our Landlords, and have been very sympathetic to our operation. They have developed the original factory site as a surf Park under the name of Surf Snowdonia.
The Dolgarrog Railway Society aims to re-establish a small industrial railway line (with a rural flavour), at Dolgarrog, in the beautiful Conwy Valley, in North Wales.
It also intends to preserve locomotives and rolling stock appropriate to the line.