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Digging the Archives

Notes  and jottings from those that have explored the Archives to those that might want to

The Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group is committed to continuing research into the history of the Welsh Highland Railway and its predecessors, with the results of its researches appearing in the Group’s quarterly journal.

The “standard historical works” published about the railway 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 and it is clear that, even now, much detail still remains to be extracted from various archival collections, both to amplify the story and to untangle some of the mysteries that  remain.

As a start Richard Maund has set up links which give access to the transcript of the 1922 Contract and the accompanying plans complementing the McAlpine article  published in Issue 55,  a transcript of the 1923 Working Instructions, the 1934 Lease  and has produced tables on the Chronology of the Stations and Operations of the WHR. Additionally he has prepared a list of pre-existing material held at Gwynedd archives relating specifically to the WHR and its predecessors,  which can be accessed here.

Members will be aware that Professor Pat  Layzell-Ward has compiled a catalogue of the Festiniog Railway’s deposit (XD/97) at Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon, and that this deposit – which also contains Welsh Highland material – has now become available for inspection. Some of the WHR documents have been accessed and we keep a record of this here so that researchers can quickly identify the location of documents which may be helpful to their work.

In order to facilitate our record keeping and to help future historians may we request that members who take advantage of this new facility advise  Derek Lystor (email :  of the reference number and title of any material which they access.