The Snailbeach District Railways was one of Britain’s lesser known public narrow gauge railways. Never carrying passengers, its history and workings have never before been fully explored but after many years research Andy Cuckson is able to reveal a fascinating story, not just about the railway but also about the mines and minerals the line supported and the people who built and worked it, including Henry Dennis, the entrepreneurial civil engineer and mine manager.
The book tells of the early railways in the area and the many plans to bring rail access to this part of Shropshire, and of the development and impact of the mines. Of the railway all aspects are described; a variety of steam locomotives, rolling stock, engineering, operation and people. The rundown of the mines brought problems but despite all the line survived finding a new role hauling roadstone, and became part of the Colonel Stephens light railway empire. After all the steam locomotives were condemned an agricultural tractor kept traffic moving. After 82 years, from 1877, the line finally closed in 1959 but, surprisingly, the company still exists, on paper.
As well as a great deal of work in archives and historic records Andy got to know many of the older residents of the area who told him much about how the railway worked and ran in its later years.
Many photographs have never been published before and many of the maps and drawings have been specially commissioned. This is the fullest account possible of the Snailbeach District Railways and will become the standard work on the line.
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Item location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, United Kingdom
The Vale of Rheidol Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol) is a 1ft 11 3/4 inches (603 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway that runs for 113?4 miles (18.9 km) between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge in the county of Ceredigion, Wales.
Until 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.