WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY IN ARCHIVES

Page last updated: 22 April 2011


Recorded history can only be the "story" as we know it from available records and so it's always liable to revision in the light of the emergence of new evidence or "forgotten" records. The "standard works" † published about the Welsh Highland Railway (operated 1922 - 1936) contain much diligent research and give an excellent insight into its history and that of its predecessors. Nevertheless, further details do continue to come to light — published particularly through the pages of the Welsh Highland Heritage, the quarterly journal of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group ‡ . It is clear that, even now, much detail remains to be extracted from various archival collections, both to amplify the story and to untangle some of the mysteries that still remain.

Knowing where to start and where to look when researching railway history can sometimes be a little daunting (Peter Johnson's Acknowledgements show the breadth of his searches) so to assist and encourage new researchers, listings have been compiled of material relating specifically to the Welsh Highland and its predecessors which is known to exist - and to await further "mining" - in some of the publicly accessible archives - follow the links below, which open a Word (.doc) file in a separate window in each case.

Gwynedd Archives - principally at Caernarfon Record Office (access details).

The National Archives at Kew - this listing will be published in due course.

National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth (access details).

University of Glasgow Archive Services houses the Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons archive (UGD254); this contains nothing specific to their contract to construct the Welsh Highland Railway but does contain general material about the McAlpine firm's activities in that era (access details).


† = James I C Boyd, Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Oakwood Press, 1988/1989 (two volumes), and Peter Johnson, An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway, Oxford Publishing Co., 2009.

‡ = WHRHG Membership Secretary: Derek Lystor, 14 Teign Village, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9QJ; dllystor[AT]hotmail.co.uk



Richard Maund


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