The Croesor Tramway was a horse-operated narrow gauge railway built in 1864 to connect the slate quarries at the head of the remote Croesor valley with the slate wharves at Porthmadog. The railway operated for nearly 100 years, through many changes of ownership and the booms and busts of the slate industry.
Although the rails were finally lifted in the 1950s, the trackbed of the railway still runs clearly through the valley to the the slate quarries above. In February 2007, I was able to walk along much of the upper reaches of the tramway, recording the remains of this spectacular line.
Join me as I walk the length of Cwm Croesor and climb the inclines rising above Blaen-y-cwm to the haunting remains of Croesor Quarry, perched hundreds of feet above the valley floor. There is much to be found: fine Victorian civil engineering as the line clings to the headwall of the valley; the parabolic inclines to Rhosydd and Croesor quarries; the desolate mill floor at Croesor hanging above the valley; the magnificent ridge of Cnicht towering over all.
I'm a longtime railway enthusiast, with a special interest in the narrow gauge railways of Wales. I was a co-founder of Blurb, back in the day, though now I work for Songkick, one of London's great tech startups.
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