THE FESTINIOG RAILWAY.
Almost everybody has heard of the Festiniog Railway in Wales, but, as it is possible there are many who know little concerning the line beyond that it is constructed on a two-feet
gauge, we intend furnishing our readers with a few particulars respecting it. The railway, which is about 12 miles in length oonnects the slate quarries at Festiniog with the port at Portmadoc. The average gradient is one in ninety-two, whilst the maximum gradient is one in eighty. There are two tunnels—one 750 yards in length, and the other 60 yards; and the line, for the most part, is cut in the nearly vertical side of the Maentwrog Vale, necessarily occasioning a great amount of embankment. It appears that the railway was opened in 1833 as a tramway, the trucks being drawn by horses up to the quarries and running back loaded and with the horses of themselves. But after a time, the horses being found ineffi- ient, locomotives were substituted; and in 1863 the line was made available for passenger traffic the old locomotives being successively displaced by Mr. Fairlie's "Little Wonder" and "Little Giant." The line having attracted very great attention, in February, 1870, it was inspected by a Royal Commission, representing England, Prance, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland, and the remit was most satisfactory. The regulation speed over the curves, which are of six-chains radius, is 12 miles per hour; but it is stated that the Commissioners
were carried over them at more than 30 miles an hour. The entire cost of the railway including a mile of breakwater in the Glasbjn estuary, half-a-mile of tunnelling, an almost uninterrupted series of cuttings in syenite rock, breastwork embankments, stations, work shops, seven locomotives, and more than a' thousand waggons and carriages, has been about £6,000 per mile, and its earnings now pay 12 percent,"