Mysterious rail tracks leading out to sea were revealed off the Gwynedd coast this week leaving locals stunned.
Many people living in Barmouth were unaware of the narrow-gauge tracks which were submerged beneath the sea on the northern end of the beach for many decades.It is thought shifting sand patterns caused the sea to slowly uncover the long-lost railway.
Local roofer Dicky Sharp, said he had found the "railway to Cantre'r Gwaelod" - the local legend of the ancient sunken kingdom in Cardigan Bay.When Dicky shared his photos on Facebook, many people commented their theories as to the railway’s purpose.
Their existence came as a surprise to most.
One person said, “I thought I knew every inch of Barmouth but I have never come across this.”
Some people speculated that the tracks were initially part of the town’s sea wall. Following a great storm in 1928 the walls were destroyed.
However, the sea wall theory was rejected by local historian Hugh Griffth Roberts who said, “The sea wall was built by professional contractors and it’s extremely unlikely they would have left valuable equipment lying around in a resort that was building a reputation with its visitors.”He believes the railway tracks pre-date the sea wall by at least 40 years and were probably laid in the 1800s for the towns new sewage system.Last year a 10ft hole opened up on the northern promenade following high tides and strong winds. Emergency repairs were carried out after investigations found 180 sq metres of the prom had collapsed.400 sq metres of the sea defence, promenade and adjacent highway had been damaged by the storm.