Monday, 17 July 2017

False starts and dashed hopes

We sometimes forget that project mismanagement, lack of clarity in aims and capital overspends are not just recent phenomena in major capital projects. In  ‘Ghosts of Aberglaslyn’ - False Starts and Dashed Hopes - the brief life of The Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway, John Manners and Michael Bishop examine the project that might have put a network of electric railways through Snowdonia but that ultimately foundered in a miasma of  political manoeuvrings, personalities, dashed hopes, obstructionism and obsolescent technology as well as '...lack of clarity in aims and capital overspends...'
‘Ghosts of Aberglaslyn’ tells the amazing story of an electric railway project in North Wales that was never completed, involving a predecessor of Parsons Peebles, the Rosyth based electrical engineering company, Sir Thomas Beecham, the inventor of Beechams Pills and father of the famous orchestra conductor, a Hungarian locomotive builder and the great great grandfather of the late Tara Palmer Tomkinson, the English socialite, "it girl", television presenter, model and charity patron.

Some of the line was constructed between 1901 and 1909, but it never opened and the track bed eventually became part of the Welsh Highland Railway. . If the aspirations of the promoters of the Portmadoc, Beddgelert & South Snowdon Railway (PBSSR) had been realised, electric trains might now be carrying passengers between Porthmadog and Caernarfon in North Wales

‘Ghosts of Aberglaslyn’ has 120 pages of text and a rich collection of photographs, including several published for the first time. It’s available direct from the publisher, the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group at for £18 post paid in the UK or via your local bookshop quoting:ISBN number 978-0-9930821-4-6

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