Press Releases

Model railway spectacular to reveal Una's true colours!

Big, small, real or model, there's something for everyone at the National Slate Museum's annual Model Railway extravaganza coming up this half term, between February 23 -26 2006. The show, which attracts over 4000 visitors and enthusiasts, is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy numerous working and static displays, including substantial layouts by well known local railway clubs such as Wrexham, Colwyn Bay and South Caernarfonshire.

As usual there are numerous train related goods to purchase, a children's play area, rides on miniature passenger steam railways, live steam narrow gauge locomotive demonstrations and daily demonstrations of the engineering principles of steam engines, by the Museum Keeper, Dr Dafydd Roberts:

“The Model Railway Show has grown to become a popular part of our calendar of attractions and contributes to the significant increases in visitor numbers that the Museum has enjoyed in recent years. The Museum has a lively interest in rail heritage. After all, narrow gauge railways were fundamental to slate quarrying operations and our own collections include a steam engine named UNA.”

For train enthusiasts and Museum regulars, one of the highlights will be the display of the Museum's pride and joy, UNA the Hunslet locomotive, unveiled for the first time on February 23rd in her new livery, a deep crimson red. She has recently been for an overhaul and re-paint at the nearby Llanberis Lake Railway workshops, transforming her from her former dark green to a deep dark red that Museum curators – with the assistance of the National Railway Museum at York – now know to be authentic. Museum Curator Cadi Iolen explained: -

“ Over the years, UNA has appeared in many liveries, and those who used to work at the Pen Yr Orsedd Quarry in Dyffryn Nantlle will remember her painted in black. However, we now know that she was delivered to that Quarry in 1905 finished in what is called ‘Midland Railway Red', a deep, rich red. Following her centenary celebrations last year, we have taken the decision to restore her to her authentic original colours.”

Another major attraction at the show will be the launch of the Welsh translation of the children's book officially launching the Welsh version of Jack/Lost Kittens/ Jac Cathod Bach Coll plus a new English book "Jack in a Box." Author Alan Cliff will be on hand to sign copies of the book at the Museum Shop from 11am on 25 February. Half of the author's royalties will be donated to Hope House Children's Hospices, which cares for seriously ill children and supports their families. The Llanberis Lake Railway will also be open throughout the week making the event a complete rail lover's dream!

The Model Railway Show runs from February 23- 26 2006 between 10am and 4pm. Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales sites is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is the new name for the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, which operates seven museums across Wales — National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

For more information contact Julie Williams on 01286 873707, email