Superb photos by J. Maclardy, Oswestry , and three by Carl Norman& Co, Tunbridge Wells, including one wonderful view showing the Dinorwic Quarry workshops from the mountain side.
The text is a little economical with the truth, in that while it mentions that on 8 January 1896, a passenger train reached the summit, just over twelve months since construction started. What it does not say, is that the locomotive derailed, and plunged down the mountainside. Driver and fireman jumped clear, and the passenger carriages, which as a safety precaution were not coupled to the locomotive, began to run down the incline, Automatic emergency brakes soon brought them to a halt, but one unfortunate passenger panicked and jumped off, sustaining injuries from which he later died. It was not until April the following year, that the railway reopened, having been fitted with griper rails, preventing locomotives riding up over the rack, and derailing.
It is interesting to note that Gowrie Aitchison is credited as Resident Engineer and General Manager. As if these two hats were not enough, he was to become the Grand Pooh Ba of several enterprises associated with the egregious Henry Joseph Jack ,serving variously as engineer, secretary, general manager, and when things went wrong, receiver in bankruptcy. He had a locomotive “Gowrie” named after him on the struggling North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway.