Tanat Valley Light Railway
|Tanat Valley Light Railway and Llanfyllin branch|
The Tanat Valley Light Railway (TVLR) was a 15-mile (24 km) long standard gauge light railway connecting Llangynog with Blodwel, crossing the Wales – England border. It opened in 1903 and closed in January 1964. Part of the line, in Shropshire, was re-opened as a heritage railway in 2009.
As early as the 1860s, a series of narrow gauge railways were planned in the Welsh borders around Oswestry and Welshpool. One of these was a connection between Llanfyllin with Llangynog, first proposed in 1873. Although this railway was never built, the local communities continued to favour a railway connection, and the passage of the Light Railways Act of 1896 gave them hope that the proposal for a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge railway might be revived. Two rival applications were made under the act in 1897: one for the Llanfyllin & Llangynog Light Railway, and one for the standard gauge Tanat Valley Light Railway.
Construction and opening
The narrow gauge railway was rejected and the TVLR was approved. Construction began in late 1899 and was largely complete by 1902, when the line was first inspected. By 1903 a second inspection found that goods traffic was already being carried by the railway, although the official opening did not happen until January 1904.
Although passenger services were run from the official opening day, it was always mineral traffic that provided the bulk of the railway's income. By the early 1920s the company was in severe debt and was acquired by the Cambrian Railways in 1921. In 1922 the TVLR became part of the Great Western Railway.
Passenger services ended in January 1951, with the line being abandoned west of Llanrhaeadr for goods in July 1952. The last goods traffic over the remainder of the TVLR (except to Nantmawr quarry) ceased in December 1960.
The site today
The Tanat Valley Light Railway (TVLR) is based by the former lime kilns in Nantmawr. TVLR plan to operate trains from Nantmawr to Llanddu by Blodwell Quarry. The TVLR operated the first trains over a 1⁄3 mile (0.54 km) section of the track in November 2009.
- Diesel multiple unit vehicles
- 51993 Class 107 DMBS
- 52005 Class 107 DMBS
- 52012 Class 107 DMCL
- 52031 Class 107 DMCL
- 59791 Class 107 TSL
Nant Mawr visitor centre
The Nant Mawr visitor centre includes a nature trail, various picnic spots and a small museum.
- Baughan 1980, pp 183-185
- "Tanat Valley Light Railway". Nant Mawr Visitor Centre. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Nant Mawr Lime Kilns". Nant Mawr Visitor Centre. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Tanat Valley Railway". The Railcar Association. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Nant Mawr Visitor Centre". Nant Mawr Visitor Centre. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Baughan, Peter E. (1980). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume 11 North and Mid Wales (1st ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7850-3. OCLC 6823219.
- Baughan, Peter E. (1991). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume 11 North and Mid Wales (2nd ed.). Nairn: David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-9465-3759-3. OCLC 26361284.
- Official Tanat Valley Light Railway website (This is now links to the Nant Mawr Visitors Centre website)
- RAILSCOT on Tanat Valley Railway
- Osrail - Oswestry railway news.