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The little Welsh locomotives on track to be turned into a Lego set

14 Jun 2023 4 minute read
The Lego locomotives on track to be turned into Lego sets (Credit: Lego Ideas)

It’s the famous Welsh railway line with a storied history.

Not only was the Talyllyn Railway the very first heritage railway line in the world, but it was the inspiration for the man who created Thomas The Tank Engine.

Now, Lego replicas of the very first locomotives put into service on the line could soon be in the running to be produced by the toy giant – but the design needs your votes for it to happen.

The two locomotives named Talyllyn and Dolgoch, were the original engines incorporated into the railway line when it opened in 1865.

They were designed by a Lego user called NoahMP7834 who has submitted his creation to the Lego Ideas website, where he hopes it will attract enough votes to give it a chance of being made by Lego.

The line was opened to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage. Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers.

No.1 Talyllyn at the foot of the Alltwyllt incline, the present site of Nant Gwernol station, 1890 (Creative Commons)

The line was also the inspiration for the Rev W Awdry’s Railway Series of books, which spawned Thomas The Tank Engine.

The designer of the Lego locomotives said he was inspired by the railway’s rich history and would love to keep the locomotive tradition alive.

“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,” said Noah.

“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.

“The two steam locomotives would be a great set for everyone because I believe that railroaders, historians, AFOLs (Adult Fan of Lego), and fans of LEGO will get the inspiration to become railroad workers on the Talyllyn Railway for all generations to see.”

No.2 Dolgoch running on the Talyllyn Railway (Creative Commons)

There is just one sizeable catch – the design needs 10,000 votes before it will be considered for production.

It currently has 667 supporters with 227 days left to reach the target. But if it can hit a 1000 supporters, Lego will award the design another 365 days for it to achieve its aim.

Welsh Lego collector Elinor Owens explained how the Lego Ideas submissions worked.

“Any user can upload a build and hope it is accepted,” she said. “If it’s accepted it must first receive 10,000 votes from the general public.

“If the build receives 10,000 votes within its allotted time, it will then join a Lego Ideas review. Usually there are three reviews in a year by Lego to consider ideas to turn into an actual set.

“Some of the latest reviews have had around 40 to 50 builds included and only one or two will be turned into an actual product.”

To find out more about the Welsh locos and to support Noah’s Welsh Lego creation click HERE

* Please note to vote you will need to register with the Lego Ideas website.

To find out more about the Talyllyn Railway click HERE


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Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
9 months ago

Perhaps if TfW’s trains were turned into Lego they might all run and be on time?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

The potential for this is massive, ‘the Great Little Trains of Wales’ buy the set ‘from sea to summit’…

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