The Talking Train / Y Trên Siarad

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‘Taliesin’ draws the Victorian Set out of the sidings as the train is made ready for departure, Harbour Station.   (03/05/2004)

Joining The Train

Passengers for the Talking Train are advised to make advanced bookings as unlike the normal service trains it is not possible to add additional carriages to the train to cater for a last-minute rush.  The services starts from Porthmadog Harbour station, where passengers "check-in" at the booking office.  We were given a laminated sheet with an annotated map of the route on one side and details of additional recordings and helpful hints on the reverse.  Then followed a quick course in using the electronic audio guide, the language (a choice of English or Welsh) being set at this point - it didn't take James long to work out how to change the language!

Around Harbour Station

We were encouraged to wander around Harbour station rather than jump straight on the train.  This allowed us to listen to the introduction to the journey together with the other stories about Harbour station.  Anyone following us on this journey would do well to spend time doing the same as us to get used to the audio guide, hear how the train crew will communicate with the passengers (more on this in a moment) and also become familiar with the numbered signs seen around the railway that relate to specific recordings.

The Talking Train runs out along the Cob at Porthmadog.   (03/05/2004)

The beautifully restored Brown Marshalls carriage No. 18 at Tanybwlch station.   (28/09/2003)

Aboard The Train

As we had previously ridden in the wonderfully restored 1872 carriage No. 15, we decided to sample the recent restoration work in the 1878 Brown Marshalls carriage No. 18 (seen left).  An empty compartment beckoned and we settled ourselves down with our electronic widgets ready for the off.

The First Story - William Maddocks And The Cob

One of the pieces of advice we were given was to start the first "travelogue" tale as soon as the train started moving.  So as Taliesin slowly pulled out of Harbour station we listened to the tale of how William Maddocks had created the great embankment nearly 200 years ago.  This was followed by the sight of the mountains of Snowdonia at their finest as the train gently rolled across the Cob.  At various points in the commentary we were offered the chance to jump to other recordings describing the scenery or historical events relating to the main tale.  Despite the slow pace of the train we soon found we had spent almost the whole of the crossing of the Cob listening to the various tales.

Cnicht and the Moelwyns dominate the view looking inland from the train on the Cob.   (03/05/2004)

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