A Tywyn man described as probably the world’s longest serving heritage railway volunteer has been presented with the Railway Magazine Annual Award for Services to Railway Preservation.
John Bate, Talyllyn Railway’s former chief engineer, was honoured at the recent Heritage Railway Association awards ceremony.
He volunteered during the railway’s first running season when it was saved from closure by Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society in 1951, becoming the world’s first preserved railway.
Giving up some of his summer holiday to help with tracklaying started an involvement with the line which has continued ever since.
John moved to Tywyn to become the railway’s chief engineer in 1963, remaining in post until his retirement in 1994, but he has continued to offer his expertise and experience as a volunteer, making him probably the world’s longest serving heritage railway volunteer.