'Ffestiniog, Small Gauge Railway', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view of the station published by Francis Bedford & Co. The Ffestiniog Railway in Wales is the oldest independent railway company in the world, having opened in 1836. It was built to carry slate from the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour at Porthmadog. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. During the 1860s and 1870s Bedford travelled extensively throughout Britain, taking hundreds of views of British scenery. He was assisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.