The history of the Ffestiniog Railway is inextricably bound up with the history of the slate industry and this film commences by showing how both declined. However, the railway line has been rejuvenated as a major tourist attraction for Wales and although the link between Porthmadog and Blaenau was broken - through flooding of a certain section for the Tanygrisiau Hydro Electric Power Station - a new stretch of line is being laid to re-establish the connection.
The work on this new section of line – a ‘deviation' - was undertaken between 1965 and 1978 and involved volunteers and 3 Cornish tin mining engineers, the latter involved in the construction of a tunnel. As part of the works, Dduallt Station and the line running from it to Tan-y-Bwlch, were re-opened in June 1968, those present and seen on film including Alan Pegler (Chair, Festiniog Railway Co.), Colonel Campbell (of Dduallt Manor) and the Earl of Merioneth (a locomotive). Plans show the spiral formation at the Duallt end of the deviation, an innovation in Britain but fairly common in mountainous countries such as Switzerland.
National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional