Vale of Rheidol Railway VOR by Hugh Ballantyne (Paperback, 2001)
This picturesque narrow-gauge line winds for 12 miles up the valley of the River Rheidol to its terminus nearly 700 feet above sea level at Devil's Bridge. Opened in 1902 to serve the once extensive mine workings, goods traffic had ceased by 1930. However, the line's owner, the publicity-conscious Great Western Railway, promoted it as a seasonal tourist railway, in which role it continued into the British Railways era, becoming BR's last steam-operated line. BR finally sold the railway in the late 1980's, and under its present management it has been considerably enhanced, and the line's familiar trio of locos have been improved with air-braking and oil-firing. Hugh Ballantyne takes us on a journey up the line as it exists today, and also looks at the early history of the railway in the Aberystwyth area, as well as the line's locomotives, coaches and wagons past and present. As the Vale of Rheidol Railway enters its second century it continues to provide a wonderful journey with superb views across the valley, and is justly included among the 'Great little Trains of Wales'.