The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (Hardback)
The Story of a Welsh Rural Byway
Unusually among Welsh narrow-gauge railways, the 2ft 6in gauge Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway was built to benefit agriculture, not minerals. After several failed attempts to connect the market town at Welshpool with the rural community around Llanfair Caereinion, the 1896 Light Railways Act paved the way for the railway which opened in 1902.
Operated by the Cambrian Railways and then by the Great Western Railway it became the only narrow-gauge steam railway catering for goods traffic under the auspices of British Railways. Sadly, it was closed in 1956 but enthusiasts ensured its revival, which started in 1963.
Overcoming many obstacles, the railway is now run by a charitable trust and is a leading volunteer-operated tourist attraction in Montgomeryshire.
This book in Pen & Sword’s ‘Gallery’ series starts with a brief history of the Cambrian Railways’ early years, followed by a magnificent comprehensive set of early photographs of Cambrian engines and Oswestry Works made available by the former Chairman of the Manchester Locomotive Society and the National Library of Wales. A tour of the sumptuous scenery of mid Wales follows – the trains in the landscape taken from Andrew Dyke’s collection and a few so expertly ‘colourised’ by him that most find it difficult to distinguish these from the many genuine colour photographs, the Welsh…By Paul Carpenter, David Maidment
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