The Penrhyn Slate Quarries in North Wales operated a number of these simple 4 wheel open carriages, which had been constructed between 1879 and 1927. Unusually, these carriages are identified by a letter, rather than the more traditional number. The first batch (A-J) were built by de Winton of Caernarfon (North Wales) and delivered to the Penrhyn Railway between 1879 and 1880. A further 6 vehicles (K-P) were built between 1902 and 1908 at the Felin Fawr Works of the Penrhyn Railway and finally coach Q was built at the works in 1927.
In 1953, after a period of disuse, carriages H & P were re-guaged, fitted with suspension (as built their was nothing provided for ride comfort) and donated to run on the Talyllyn Railway, where they were numbered carriages 7 & 8. There they served for a number of years, before being rebuilt with new bodies – ultimately, these new bodies had new chassis fitted. A bi like the case of Paddy’s hammer – 2 new heads, 3 new shafts – but still the same hammer!
In 1998, we were fortunate to acquire the axle-boxes and horn-guides from both carriages H & P direct from the Talyllyn Railway. The parts formed the starting point for the MRT carriage project; this was completed by 1999. The vehicle then ran at the the works open days of Alan Keef Ltd before entering traffic on the Apedale Valley Light Railway.