The Ghost Train.....or is it?


The winter of 1921 had been a brutal one for the rural families of North Wales. Winter storms had been unrelenting and the past 72 hours had seen rain and storm force winds that even these weather-hardened communities found intimidating. Life usually worked around the extreme conditions frequently experienced in this part of the world, but this year things were different.

Every day train 757 took the children from the villages that dappled the Snowdonia mountain range into Porthmadog to school. Each evening the children would return back up the mountain, but the recent storms had meant the train couldn’t make the journey. Fallen trees had blocked the line and the unprecedented decision was made to keep the children overnight at the school. One night became two and two became three as the rain and winds made any form of travel impossible.

For the families at home the waiting was unbearable. Not only did they have to cope with tending their farms in conditions unknown in a generation but they had very little word about their young ones. Some news had got through, but it was patchy and did little to calm the anxious mothers and fathers who waited for the storms to abate.

It was late afternoon on Friday October 31st in Porthmadog and for the first time in days the rain had slowed to a heavy drizzle. Though the winds were still strong they were nothing like they had been. The local farmers and labourers had managed to clear the blocked line and sent the message into town.

Though the teachers at Prentarag school were unconvinced, engine driver Dai Evans was confident this was the window he needed to get the children home. It was the weekend and the children were missing their families, this was the least he could do. At 4.45 the children eagerly, boarded train 757 as it stood in the station spewing steam into the air in anticipation of the journey to come. On the dot of 5pm the train slowly huffed and puffed out of the station as it built up speed for the climb ahead.

Up ahead unbeknown to anybody, the weather had returned with a vengeance. The wind tore through trees and bent branches to breaking point while the rain fell in bullet like drops that exploded into the soft ground. Train 757 climbed higher and higher, the children chattering in nervous anticipation as the storm increased. Suddenly a huge section of hillside, unable to cope with the deluge broke away and headed at breakneck speed toward the unsuspecting train and its precious cargo.

The official report was straightforward. A storm had dislodged part of the hillside which created a landslide that swept train 757 off the track and into the ravine below. No bodies were ever found as the storm washed everything out to sea.

The story is an old one and has been told many times throughout the years and everybody, it seems adds their own twist to add some extra interest. The thing that nobody disputes though is that on many stormy evenings there can be heard the distant screams of children and the haunting whistle of train 757 as it battles through the night to attempt to get the children home.

Whoa whoa whoa…..you can’t end a story like that dad. You know this is for the mini hoomans right? I know when your hooman children were small you used to tell them the story of Dr Vun Salley when you went on holiday to Sun Valley in Cornwall. Dr Vun Salley lived in the house on the hill in the holiday park and did hideous experiments on anyone who was still out after dark….yeah great parenting dad…

Ok peoples don’t worry cos we have the alternative ending right here….Just do that funny rewinding noise in your head now….

Up ahead unbeknown to anybody, the weather had returned with a vengeance. The wind tore through trees and bent branches to breaking point while the rain fell in bullet like drops that exploded into the soft ground. Train 757 climbed higher and higher, the children chattering in nervous anticipation as the storm increased. Suddenly a huge section of hillside, unable to cope with the deluge broke away and headed at breakneck speed toward the unsuspecting train and its precious cargo.

Montgomery was taking his usual walk around the farm that evening when he heard the sound of sliding and crashing as the hillside gave way to the unrelenting rain that had lasted for what seemed like an eternity.

Mongomery lived with owner Kram Srednas in their Welsh mountain home close to the railway line. They had moved there 3 years ago from Wigwamia after the Yorkshirpuddingland uprising. He was a handsome Black and White Newfoundland dog who was well known in the area for his amazing swimming skills, strength, handsomeness and general all-round greatness.

Montgomery knew straight away that something was very wrong and he needed only a glance over his shoulder and a nod from his hooman to know what he had to do. With a single bound he leapt the fence and headed down the hillside to where the noise had come from. What he saw in front of him was a catastrophe in the making as the train slid uncontrollably toward the storm-ravaged river.

Montgomery was there in an instant, and no sooner had the train hit the raging torrent, that he went to work. One by one children were pulled from the sinking carriages and deposited safely on the river bank. Again and again he returned to the ink black rapids, each time bringing back a precious survivor and depositing it gently away from further danger. It was only when all of the children were safe that he returned for driver Dai Evans who was clinging to the roof of the engine which was hurtling toward the sea.

At his point though exhausted, he decided he’d pull the train out as well, because he could – he was so strong you see…..and handsome, did I mention he was very handsome?

So, this story ends, quite rightly, with Mongomery, the newfydoof, the hero….No spooky noises in the dark, no ghost train and no mini hoomans waking parents up in the night…..You’re welcome.

Mongomery got a medal and his fame spread even further across the land….Even as far as Wigwamia. He lived to a good old age and loved telling his story to the many pups he sired. Today lots of his descendants live to re-tell the story and there is one you may know….very well. He has definetly carried on the handsomeness…..did I mention that gt gt gt gt gt gt gt gt Grandad Mongomery was very handsome?

Sleep well mini hoomans…..sleep well….



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