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European Railroad Discussion > Vale of Rheidol

Date: 04/21/17 03:18
Vale of Rheidol
Author: 86235

Even nearer to our new place than the Ffestiniog / Welsh Highland is the 2' gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge. As this week was the second of the Easter school holidays they were running a four train, two locomotive service, which is the most intensive that they run. Trains leave Aber at 10:30, 12:15, 14:00 and 15:45 returning at 12:30, 14:15, 16:00 and 17:45. The 12 miles to Devil's Bridge takes an hour. The present administration - like the Brecon Mountain this is not a volunteer run railway, the staff are paid - has recreated the railway as it looked during the 25 years it was run by the Great Western Railway.

Motive power consists of a trio of 2-6-2T built at Swindon in the mid 1920s and a 0-6-0 diesel switcher from Drewry-Baguley. Two of the 2-6-2Ts are currently in service, the third is due to return to service later this year. I believe it will be the first time all three have been in steam at the same time for many, many years. The restoration of the railway is a credit to the charitable trust that owns and runs it, the stations are maintained in pristine condition, down to the typical GWR pagoda style tin hut waiting shelters and functioning gas lamps. You will see from the pictures that the three locomotives are quite hefty for 2' gauge, they would certainly not fit within the loading gauge of the Ffestiniog Railway for instance.

1: This is no.1213, formerly no.9 Prince of Wales it currently carries the livery and original number with which it left Swindon works in 1924. That Westinghouse air brake pump is a later addition.

2: Here she is again on the approach to Nantyronen where Devil's Bridge bound trains take water

3: And again, meeting a p.w. trolley at Aberffrwd

Date: 04/21/17 03:26
Re: Vale of Rheidol
Author: 86235

Beyond Aberffrwd the line climbs the side of the Rheidol valley offering some great views. However to get to photograph them isn't very easy, plenty of walking is required to get to public access points along this stretch of the railway

4: 1213 pulling out of Aberffrwd on the 10:30 from Aberystwyth

5: The other engine in service on Tuesday was no.8 formerly Llewelyn, seen here approaching Rheidol Falls Halt on the 12:15 from Aber, that's the Rheidol Falls HEP generating station in the valley

6: And 1213 again on the 14:00, taken from the next public crossing point beyond Rheidol Falls

Date: 04/21/17 03:33
Re: Vale of Rheidol
Author: 86235

And so to Devil's Bridge

7: The station, which hasn't changed much in the 115 years since the line was opened. Tourists were targeted by the railway from day one, which marketed the attractions of the falls in and around Devil's Bridge. There was some mineral traffic but, despite the railway company's best efforts, it never amounted to very much, tourists have been the lifeblood of the railway for most of its life.

8: 1213 takes water

9: The 16:00 departs back to Aberystwyth

Date: 04/21/17 14:58
Re: Vale of Rheidol
Author: GPutz

You seem to be enjoying your retirement. Thanks for the pictures. Gerry

Date: 04/21/17 23:12
Re: Vale of Rheidol
Author: 86235

GPutz Wrote:
> You seem to be enjoying your retirement. Thanks
> for the pictures. Gerry

Thanks Gerry, I guess I am although it still feels like an extended holiday.

Date: 04/23/17 16:13
Re: Vale of Rheidol
Author: CPRR

I would love a house next to that line. Fantastic photos as always Nick.

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