North West Wales

Talyllyn Railway train guard triplets qualify on same day

Jake, Joe and Ross Waddington with locomotive No.6 Image copyright Matthew Wear
Image caption Jake, Joe and Ross Waddington celebrated their 16th birthday last week

They say good things come in threes - and that was certainly the case for these triplets who all qualified as assistant train guards on the same day.

Jake, Ross and Joe Waddington, who were 16 last week, of Tywyn, are training to become guards on Talyllyn Railway.

They have volunteered at the Gwynedd railway for two years and it was sorted for them to be judged on the same day.

Railway Preservation Society chairman Ian Drummond said their "positive attitude has won them many friends".

Image copyright Joe Waddington
Image caption Joe Waddington has been a miniature railway enthusiast since he was four-years-old

The brothers first became interested in trains watching their grandfather Joe Hulls playing with his Flying Scotsman model railway when they were aged four.

"We've always loved trains and used to live near York and regularly went to the National Railway Museum to see all of the classic engines," said Joe.

"Mum and dad moved to north Wales three years ago to run a bed and breakfast together and us boys have visited the Talyllyn Railway virtually every day since.

Image copyright Joe Waddington
Image caption The triplets have visited the Talyllyn Railway every day since moving to the area

"This is not a job, this is a passion for us all. It's a pleasure to come to work and we were all delighted to all pass our assessment - especially on the same day."

The narrow gauge railway opened for goods traffic in 1865 and for passenger services shortly after.

Image copyright Joe Waddington
Image caption Thomas The Tank Engine is a particular favourite on the Waddington brothers

Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society took it over in 1951 and the line is primarily operated by volunteers with a small number of paid staff.

"They really are tremendous boys who love trains and love being part of the team," said operating assistant John Smallwood, a volunteer since 1959.

Image copyright Joe Waddington
Image caption Their grandfather Joe sparked the interest of trains in the Waddington brothers

"They've been trainees working on locomotives, as a guard and collecting tickets since they were 14. I can remember them coming to our miniature railway as small boys - trains are certainly in the blood."

Mr Drummond added: "Joe, Jake and Ross have contributed a great deal to the railway already... we look forward to seeing them progress further in the years ahead."

Image copyright Joe Waddington
Image caption Joe, Jake and Ross were regular visitors to the National Railway Museum

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