We often try to answer the question: just what is it that makes people so passionate and become so strongly attached to our railway?
Perhaps the answer is the sense of adventure that we feel as we take part. For some that can be building a stretch of new line; for others it can be financial support for something that will enhance the scene and for many the opportunity to make new friends and work with them at the heart of the adventure.
Many of our standard gauge counterparts rely on nostalgia for times gone by to encourage volunteers and supporters. With those folk who remember steam on British Rail becoming increasingly rare, they have to look afresh how they can encourage people to get involved. For us things are very different. We could never really appeal to nostalgia that much and we donít try to. Whether we consciously know it or not, we focus on the adventures and camaraderie to be enjoyed now. Most of all, the reason to be here centres around the people.
As we enter the Diamond Jubilee of the preservation era, the temptation is concentrate on the events of 60 years ago. What we should be doing is using our stories of adventure to inspire the next generation. We must also take time to ensure that when we do encourage people to join us and support us that we make them feel part of the team.
So we want to hear from as many of you as possible about what makes the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways special to you. We need photos to illustrate your story and most of all we want your help in using your story to inspire others. I look forward to seeing your stories, however short or long.
For many, the railway adventure started with a book.
Paul Lewin, General Manager, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway.