Bodmin Wadebridge railway 1834-1983  LSWR SR BR - The Vale of Rheidol Railway
The Vale of Rheidol Railway

Bodmin Wadebridge railway 1834-1983 LSWR SR BR

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Bodmin Wadebridge railway 1834-1983 LSWR SR BR


Planned and opened before the Victorian era, the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway was one of Britain’s earliest public railways. Pioneering the use of steam power it was built to serve local agriculture but later Cornwall’s mineral wealth became its mainstay, ensuring its survival for almost a century and a half.

Despite falling into the hands of the London & South Western Railway early in its life, it was not physically connected to their system for over fifty years, and so remained an isolated local railway with a character all of its own. Ambitious extension plans failed to materialise, although the important connection with the Great Western Railway did. For many years the line was home to some of the oldest working steam engines on Britain’s railways, running through the gorgeous scenery of the Camel Valley, and now the route survives as part of the popular Camel Trail.

An incredible amount of original documentation of the railway survives, scattered in archives across the country, and the author has brought this together to tell a detailed, intimate account of a small Cornish railway; how it worked, how it failed and how it succeeded. And also to dispel some of the myths and tales that have grown up. The story is told of the people involved, and of the communities and industries the railway served.


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Postage and packaging
Item location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, United Kingdom

About Us

The Vale of Rheidol Railway (WelshRheilffordd Cwm Rheidol) is a 1ft 11 3/4 inches (603 mmnarrow gauge heritage railway that runs for 11 3?4 miles (18.9 km) between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge in the county of Ceredigion, Wales.

privatisation, it was the sole steam-operated line on the nationalised British Rail network, steam traction having ceased in 1968 on all other parts of the system. Unlike some other preserved railways in the United Kingdom, the Vale of Rheidol Railway has never closed, with the exception of wartime and has operated a service for tourists through its life. The railway celebrated its centenary in 2002. 

The Railway is a charity, meaning the income it generates goes back into the railway, to aid in restoration and running of the steam locomotives. Buying through our online giftshop enables you to get the product you want but also donate to the railway and keep it alive.

Contact Us

Geraint Roberts
Vale of Rheidol Trading Ltd
Park Avenue
SY23 1PG
United Kingdom

Company registration number: 9146470
VAT number: GB 489240712


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