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Talyllyn Railway

The railway opened in 1866 and was unusual amongst the narrow-gauge lines serving the slate industry as it was owned by the quarry it served and ran a public passenger and freight service between Tywyn and Nant Gwernol, Gwynedd. It is proud of its heritage as the first preserved railway in the world and its reputation as ‘the railway with a heart of gold’. The team is passionate about protecting the environment as well as investing in the local community, so taking part in the Green Digital Academy was an opportunity not to be missed.

The challenge - REACHING NET ZERO by 2030

The Talyllyn Railway is working hard to improve its environmental credentials but like many businesses, knowing where to start is a challenge. Liz Porrett from the railway explains: “We are conscious that some of our practices such as the use of coal in our steam engines, diesel in other engines, as well as the use of electricity and water have a negative impact on the environment. We are determined to do what we can to minimise our impact and are committed to reviewing how we work in order to do this.”

What the experts say - TACKLING EMISSIONS
The study identified coal, catering, and manufactured goods as the top three emission hotspots. Due to the nature of the business, it is not surprising that the combustion of fuels is a significant contributor. This along with indirect emissions through purchased goods make up over 95% of the total carbon emissions. A phased action plan has been created to help the company reach net-zero. Recommendations include a review of heating systems, more use of solar power and switching to REGNO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) electricity tariffs. The work the railway has done to look at alternatives to coal is identified as best practice and has the potential to significantly reduce the company’s emissions.

With carbon reduction and reaching Net Zero by 2030 top of their agenda Liz welcomes the report. “This has been a positive experience for us, and we have learnt a lot from working with the experts through the Green Digital Academy. There are some key actions we can take on board straight away to help Talyllyn Railway on its journey to Net Zero and to reduce our impact on climate. It’s great to see the work we have already done to look for coal alternatives recognised, and we look forward to exploring this further so we can continue to make a difference.”

Want to know more or to take part in the project?
Contact | 08445 460 460