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Talyllyn Railway No. 1, Talyllyn, and No. 2, Dolgoch

Back in Wales in the UK, there is a railway line with a different gauge. Instead of standard gauge rails (1,435 millimeters (4 feet 8+½ inches)), the gauge of the rails are 2 feet and 3 inches wide and it has small steam locomotives running on the tracks of the Talyllyn Railway. The railway/line started business in 1865 to haul slate from the Bryn Eglwys quarries to Tywyn and it was the first narrow gauge railway in the United Kingdom which was authorized by Act of Parliament for passenger trains using steam locomotives. The two locomotives here are LEGO replicas of both Talyllyn and Dolgoch which were the first two locomotives shipped to the railway.
History of Talyllyn
Talyllyn was built in 1864 by Fletcher, Jennings and Co. in Whitehaven and delivered to the railway on September 24th 1864 and the first locomotive to be delivered to north Wales. The saddle tank locomotive was originally a 0-4-0 cabless saddle tank and tests show that the wheel arrangement was unacceptable for the locomotive and needed a pair of trailing wheels to keep the locomotive steady and the crew to not bounce around on trips. In January 1867, the locomotive was given a pair of trailing wheels and a cab from the Pendre workshops. The engine was shipped back to Fletcher, Jennings and Co. for a second time around 1900 for overhaul and repairs were made over the years. The locomotive remained at the railway for most of its life. By WWII, the engine was in poor state of repair and retired in 1945 in a shed. Talyllyn was rescued in 1951 and inspected to be beyond economic repair. However, the engine would be considered overhauled and in 1957, the locomotive was sent to Gibbons Brothers’ Brierley Hill engineering works at Lenches Bridge and after the overhaul, Talyllyn returned to service in 1958 and is still around to this day.
History of Dolgoch
Dolgoch was built at the same shops Talyllyn was built in 1866 and delivered to the railway that same year. The locomotive held a significant role in its history as it was the only serviceable narrow gauge steam locomotive on the Talyllyn Railway. The locomotive has a long wheelbase, unusual for a 0-4-0, and the driving axle is behind its firebox. The locomotive is driven by the Allen valve gear from the leading coupled axle and doubled back to connect to the valve rods. It was named Pretoria between 1900 and 1914 and renamed back to Dolgoch later on. In early 1945, the locomotive was sent to the Atlas Foundry in Shrewsbury to be overhauled and at the same time, Talyllyn was so worn out that it could not be safely serviceable and services on the Talyllyn Railway were suspended as a result. Dolgoch returned to service in September 1945 with new cylinders, chimney, a repaired inner firebox, and a retubed boiler. In 1949, the locomotive’s boiler was patched up and on August 26th, 1949, Dolgoch was involved in an accident which caused its frame to crack, which resulted in the driver being dismissed from the railway. Dolgoch was the only operationable locomotive from 1945 to 1952, when Edward Thomas was restored to service. Dolgoch was majorly overhauled between 1954 and 1963 and is still around to this day as well.
What is this set?
The scale replica of Talyllyn has all the features from the real life locomotive from the oil compressor to the coal in the coal bunker. The locomotive’s piece count is 849 pieces total with an optional headlamp which is 11 pieces total. Together, both the locomotive and headlamp are 860 pieces for the final total and the locomotive can optionally be displayed by its narrow gauge stand which has a piece total of 140 pieces. For the project, I did the restored version of the locomotive.
The scale version of Dolgoch has the same features from the real locomotive including the crest on the front of the locomotive, the lamps at the front, the pipes and valves, the dome and whistle, and the windows on the left and right sides. The locomotive’s piece count is 882 pieces and the optional stand is 140 pieces, the same as Talyllyn’s stand. Both the locomotive and stand are 1022 pieces in total. When I put the two together, the piece count for both locomotives and stands are 2022 pieces, which is the same number that LEGO celebrated its 90th anniversary, 2022.
Before doing the project, I saw the new LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition set which inspired me to create the locomotives based on the set. The challenging part of the project was the firebox designs because when I researched the two locomotives’ cabs, I saw that the fireboxes are barely visible in the pictures. I did the best to design the fireboxes in LEGO scale and they look like the pictures. The easiest parts of the project were the smokebox doors, the circles for the windows and the exterior details for the coal bunkers and side rods.
Why did you make this?
I did these two narrow gauge steam locomotives because I always love designing different types of steam locomotives and diesel locomotives out of LEGO, and I am a huge fan of LEGO and its products. If you love the Talyllyn Railway, you will love this project, if you love Talyllyn and Dolgoch, you will love this project, if you are a LEGO fan, you will love this project, if you love ALL of the above, you will love this project. Many railfans young and old will remember the good old days of looking outside and seeing both Talyllyn and Dolgoch running on the Talyllyn Railway for 158 years.
Why would they be a great LEGO set?
The two steam locomotives would be a great set for everyone because I believe that railroaders, historians, AFOLs, and fans of LEGO will get the inspiration to become railroad workers on the Talyllyn Railway for all generations to see.

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