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Rheidol Review Newsletter

Celebrating 1989 - 2 0 1 9


of Private Ownership

Photo by Cliff Thomas

Issue 4 - 2019


Telephone us: 01970 625 819 - Park Avenue, Aberystwyth SY23 1PG Regular steam train services running throughout the year

Celebrating 1 989 - 2 0 1 9


of Private Ownership

2019 Events


• DRIVER FOR A FIVER - Footplate Experience

27th to 30th May & 15th July - 29th August 2019 (YELLOW & GREEN TIMETABLE DAYS) Drive a real steam engine at Devil’s Bridge station


29th May, 31st July and 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 21st & 24th August 2019 (GREEN TIMETABLE DAYS) Upgrade your ticket for a Fish and Chip supper at Devil’s Bridge station (see website for full menu)


14th & 15th September 2019 Join us to celebrate 30 years of private ownership. 3 mystery engines, ‘hidden for decades’ will be on show plus see all 3 GWR Rheidol tanks in steam together for the first time in 20 years. (Special timetable for weekend see website for details)

• MONSTER BALL - 1st November 2019

Join us for an adult only event on the ghoulish steam train journey through the Rheidol Valley to the Hafod Hotel, Devil’s Bridge for spooky entertainment and buffet.

• HALLOWEEN GHOST TRAIN - 29th, 30th & 31st October 2019. Join us for a frightfully good trip up the Rheidol Valley! SUNDAY LUNCH SPECIALS •Park Avenue,

SY23 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th November 2019. 1PG Telephone End your weekend with an 819 extra special trip to Devil’s Bridge, : 01970 625 taking in the ever changing stunning scenery and stop at the Hafod info@rheidolrailway.co.uk Hotel for a sumptious roast before heading back.


Making history...


he 6th June 2019 was a historical day for more reasons than one. Not only was it the 75th anniversary of the D Day Landings, it was also the official grand opening of the new Aberystwyth Platform. The platform opening was well attended, and even the rain could not put a dampener on the occasion. I was unable to be at the station opening myself as I was paying my respects at a D Day remembrance event in my role as a Royal British Legion Standard Bearer. More on the platform opening will be featured in our news section of this edition. As we enter July, the next big event is our Forgotten Engines 2 event with the three visiting engines. Our excitment grows as this event approaches as the visitors are all very special. Not only are there special visitors which have not been seen in public in the preservation era, but also it will be for the first time since, we believe, 1985, that all three engines will be in steam together


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Workshop Updates

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Page 11 Mines of the Rheidol Valley Page 14 An image from the Archive

operating passenger trains. Certainly another historical milestone being the first time since the line was privatised that this has happened. Not only this but also for the first time ever the chance to drive a ‘Rheidol Tank’ for a fiver. But before we get to this in September we can’t forget our ride and dine excursions on Wednesday & Saturday evenings in August and ‘driver for a fiver’ events that run from the middle of July through to the end of August. Will you be joining us for them?

Gareth D Jones Editor

STEAM FESTIVAL WEEKEND 14th & 15th September 2019 Celebrating 30 years of Private Ownership

Page 15 Picture Gallery Page 17 Gallery Page 19 News Page 21 Forgotten Engines Preview Page 23 Railway Reviews Page 24 Our Staff Page 25 Shop Products Page 27 Garden Railway Products Page 29 Timetable




See all 3 mystery engines, 3 GWR Rheidol ‘hidden for tanks in steam plus decades’ together for the loads will be on first time in more... show 20 years Special weekend timetable will be operating see website for details www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

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Vale of Rheidol Railway News

Huge success for Grand Opening of The Vale of Rheidol Railway new GWR station.


special event was held on Thursday, 6th June to officially open the new Edwardian style Great Western heritage Station at the Vale of Rheidol Railway which is Phase 1 of the £2.2 million project named ‘Wales to the World’. Special guests including businesses involved in the redevelopment were invited to attend the grand opening, where they were entertained by the local secondary school brass band and refreshments before the official speeches. Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism cut the ribbon to officially open the new Robert Gambrill CEO Vale of Rheidol Railway is pictured with Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Aberystwyth terminus. Guests were Tourism cutting the ribbon then treated with a trip up the valley on the train to Devil’s Bridge where they were greeted by the local primary school choir. Lunch was served at the Hafod Hotel, before guests departed back to Aberystwyth. A fantastic day was had by everyone; even when the weather did its best to try and spoil the speeches and ceremony, but the sun shone for the rest of the day. The project is a funding collaboration between the Vale of Rheidol Railway and Visit Wales utilising £1.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the EU funded TAD Destination Program and the TMF Regeneration Fund. The railway is providing 35% of the revenue to support the project, whilst the remaining amount will come directly from grant funding. Robert Gambrill, CEO of The Vale of Rheidol Railway said “The Vale of Rheidol is very pleased to have completed its first phase of the TAD program, and wishes to praise the hard work of the Visit Wales team in bringing our project to life. Everyone involved is very proud of the achievements realised over this winter, a credit to everyone involved. We were very pleased to see everyone at the opening and sharing our lovely new station with them.” The Deputy Minister, said: “The experience here in Aberystwyth is truly fantastic. It celebrates the history of this railway which is extremely important to Wales and our culture; it shows off the spectacular scenery on offer here in Wales and allows its visitors to learn about and watch the vintage steam locomotives, which were built back in the 1920s, in action. Our aim through the Tourism Attractor Destination programme is to focus efforts and investment on key projects in each region so we have a real impact on Wales’ profile in this globally competitive market. This represents a huge funding boost for the sector, which will make a real difference to the products and experiences that Wales has to offer. The aim is for these destinations to develop as attractors and give compelling reasons for people to visit Wales or stay in Wales for a holiday. By attracting visitors to these key sites, the surrounding area will also benefit from further business investment and deliver key outcomes in terms of employment and regeneration.” The next phase of the project will see the old Aberystwyth terminus site re-developed to include a new booking office and carriage storage shed which will be built to allow the priceless collection of historic railway carriages to be stored in a protected environment, and aid their long term conservation. Once the carriage shed is built then phase 3 can begin, which will see the old GWR building converted into a museum and multi-purpose facility. The whole project has a target completion date of March 2021. Page 3

Vale of Rheidol Railway News

‘The Earl’ gets major overhaul at our workshop


he Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway is to send one of its two original locomotives, 0-6-0T No. 822 ‘The Earl’ for a major overhaul at the Vale of Rheidol Railway’s Aberystwyth workshops, taking the engine out of a long queue for work at its home line. Built by Manchester firm Beyer Peacock in 1902 for the opening of the W&LLR a year later, ‘The Earl’ and its sister locomotive ‘Countess’ have been stalwarts of the mid Wales line through its entire life. ‘The Earl’ hauled the first public train of the preservation era on 6th April 1963, and the two sisters worked most passenger trains until the arrival of Franco-Belge locomotive 699.01 ‘Sir Drefaldwyn’ from Austria in 1969. ‘The Earl’ continued to work until 1978 when major repairs became necessary, and the loco was withdrawn, afterwards going on extended display at the National Railway Museum in York, the Birmingham Railway Museum and the Great Western Society’s Steam Centre at Didcot. Mounted on a standard gauge well wagon, ‘The Earl’ also took part in the 1980 ‘Rocket 150’ cavalcade at Shildon celebrating 150 years since the Rainhill Trials and the advent of public steam railways. The loco returned to the Llanfair Line in 1991 and in 1996 a Heritage Lottery Fund grant enabled a major overhaul to begin including replacement of the boiler – this work was finished in time for the W&LLR centenary celebrations in 2003. Since then ‘The Earl’ has been a core member of the line’s loco fleet – in the 2018 season it ran 3,310 miles, or 32 per cent of the total engine mileage that year, before being withdrawn with a fault in October, shortly before its 10-year boiler ticket expired. Whilst this will be the first time the W&LLR has sent a locomotive away for an overhaul, the move is no reflection on the capabilities of the line’s own mechanical engineering department, which is extremely busy. The W&LLR workshop team are currently in the final stages of a nut-and-bolt restoration of ‘Sir Drefaldwyn’; with the popular Sierra Leone Hunslet No. 14/85 in the queue for overhaul and two more locomotives coming to the end of their boiler tickets in 2020 and 2021, it was decided to accelerate the work required on ‘The Earl’ by having the VoR carry out the overhaul in parallel with the in-house projects.

“We considered several highly qualified suppliers for this overhaul”, said W&LLR Chief Mechanical Engineer Bruce Webber. “The Vale of Rheidol impressed us with its excellent engineering standards and very strong references from previous customers.” As well as restoring its own 2-6-2T locomotive ‘Owain Glyndwr’ to service after many years out of use, the VoR has also recently fully overhauled the Talyllyn Railway’s Hughes 0-4-2T ‘Sir Haydn’ and is currently restoring a Baldwin 4-6-0T for the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. The VoR also shares a common heritage with the W&LLR. Despite a difference in gauge (the W&LLR 2ft 6in gauge, the VoR 1ft 11¾”), both were operated by the Great Western Railway and later British Railways. Indeed cattle wagons built for the Rheidol line were transferred to Llanfair and on the W&LLR’s closure in 1956 one went to the Ffestiniog Railway, before being bought back by the VoR in late 2017 and restored to its original specification. Both railways are key players on the Welsh narrow gauge scene and members of the Great Little Trains of Wales marketing group, through which they have a history of sharing information and technical expertise. Commenting on the decision,VoR General Manager Llyr ap Iolo said that everyone at Aberystwyth is delighted with the commission. “We are proud that the W&LLR has entrusted such an iconic and historic engine to us – we will be working hard to meet the specification and timeline,” he added. ‘The Earl’ will be transported to Aberystwyth in June for disassembly and forwarding of the boiler to another firm for specialist work. The overhaul will start in earnest in September and a return to steam is scheduled for June 2020, in time for the busy high season on the Llanfair Line.

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WORKSHOP Baldwin No.44699


ork is progressing on the chassis and driving wheelsets for the locomotive. The smokebox saddle and cylinders have recently been joined to the chassis. The driving wheelsets have had new axles machined in house and have had the driving wheels pressed onto them. Currently the holes for the crank pins are being bored on the wheelsets prior to their fitting. The boiler has been test fitted in the frames too.

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Pictured through the spectacle of the Baldwin


Garratt No.60

he boiler and cradle unit is approaching completion, with the plumbing being reassembled on the exterior of the boiler and the engines controls being installed on the backhead. Once this has been completed work will begin modifying the ashpan, fitting the new chimney and fabricating a spark arrestor.

The boiler backhead partially complete

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WORKSHOP UPDATE Carriage Project


ecent work on the rebuild of carriage II has involved the manufacture of lots of templates and mock- ups to ensure the carriage will be something very unique when completed. The new dividing wall has been made and will soon be fitted within the carriage. The internal detail work has been mocked up by our skilled craftsmen prior to full installation within the carriage. The chairs have been made for our upgraded first class carriages. They are currently being sanded ready for finishing in our paint shop before being sent away to be upholstered.

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To visit the 300ft Waterfalls, Punchbowl and 3 Bridges built one on top of the other, turn left from the train station and walk down the hill past the Hafod hotel (approx 5 minutes). The Nature Trail circular walk includes views of the waterfalls, 3 Bridges, Robbers Cave and Jacobs Ladder (A steep flight of 100 continuous steps). It takes roughly 45 minutes and is a challenging walk with 675 steep steps. It is not suitable for pushchairs and those with walking difficulties. Adult £3.75 Child £2.00 20% discount on Nature trail walk by showing this advert to the attendant.

Not enough time for the long walk? Too many steps? To view just the 3 Bridges and the Devil’s Punchbowl enter through the coin operated turnstile. Only £1.00 per person Recommended time 10 minutes.

CARAVAN PARK 01970 890233

Looking for somewhere to stay near the train station at Devil’s Bridge? Call our friendly staff and enquire about our 2 bedroom self catering bungalow or Gypsy Pod. Alternatively pitch a tent or bring your touring van or motor home. We are situated just 10 minutes walk from the train station and 5 minutes walk from the waterfalls and Hafod Hotel & Brasserie. enquiries@woodlandsdevilsbridge.co.uk


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Vale of Rheidol Volunteers


By Clive Higgs, Railway Volunteer

he spring work intensified as we tidied the stations, platforms and gardens ready for the Grand Opening of the new station at Aberystwyth on June 6th. After the ceremony, there was to be a special train to Devil’s Bridge for a buffet lunch, so all stations and halts needed some work. The new Aberystwyth station buildings were already spotless but the other stations were getting spotty after the winter cleaning. These were cleaned again with soap, water, more water, yet more water and a pressure washer at Devil’s Bridge. All traces of coal soot were removed by June 5th. The platforms at Capel Bangor, Nantyronen and Aberffrwd were raked to remove twigs fallen from trees and then air-blown again to remove the smallest twigs and fallen leaves. The Permanent Way team treated the platform weeds but a few new weeds arrived for the occasion during the days before. The killjoy volunteers hoed these away. During the spring and early summer, all gardens, tubs and troughs were weeded and their flowers were deadheaded. The tulip flowers at Capel Bangor, Nantyronen, Aberffrwd and Devil’s Bridge lasted a long time. After the dead-heading was complete most tulip plants were cut back, except at the experiment at the Nantyronen troughs. Here, daffodil and tulip bulbs had been planted in 30 empty plastic sheep-feed boxes last autumn. The 360 geraniums

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grown from tiny plugs had grown very well in the greenhouse and were ready for planting about a fortnight before June 6th. Many volunteers turned up to move the geraniums, plant them in new compost in more empty plastic boxes, replace the tulip boxes by the geranium boxes in the troughs, hide visible plastic under compost in the troughs and move the bulb boxes out of view in a shady spot for the summer. All this went so smoothly there was time to transplant geraniums directly from pots to the garden and some of the troughs and tubs at Aberffrwd. A fast, efficient team effort with Philip, Harm, Jennie, John, Penny, Maurice, me and Michael a very active returning volunteer. Unfortunately

Volunteers do a spot of weeding in front of the purple smoke bush, cotinus, just coming into flower.

Peter was not well and we hope he’s soon back in full swing (literally, with the fencepost knocker). The next week the remaining geraniums were planted at Aberystwyth, Capel Bangor and the Devil’s Bridge troughs and tubs, together with some new compost. The geraniums hadn’t thrived in the Devil’s Bridge garden last year so dazzling salvias and French marigolds were planted there instead. On June 6th nearly everywhere was looking splendid with the platform garden plot at Aberystwyth looking beautiful. A pity about the showery

weather but the flowers beside the line did brighten up the day. The only problem was with some unofficial volunteer rabbits digging up the geraniums at the front of Aberffrwd’s garden and eating the flowers. Hopefully this idea won’t spread to the official volunteers. So far they seem much more interested in eating the delicious cakes offered around. The job of fencing the woodland below the railway line at the west of Aberffrwd station has taken second place, but the gate has been installed,

complete with a ramp and two steps. The fenceposts and corner posts have been knocked in and dug in at the three western sides. Peter and John hope to pull and staple the fence on these sides in the next month or so. The volunteers will still be busy weeding and dead-heading. Hopefully the drought of last summer will not be repeated and there will be no need to spend months setting out every day with watering cans and sometimes water to the driest stations and halts.

Volunteers do a spot of weeding under the platform sign ready for the grand opening

Our volunteers meet once a week, and through their efforts our stations always look at their best no matter what the weather. If you wish to join our amazing band of volunteers helping to maintain our stations then please get in touch via email: info@rheidolrailway.co.uk Page 10

Chassis and ironwork of 2’3 gauge outside-flanged wagon

Unique underground tramway at Darren Mine


By Ioan Lord

reat Darren Mine near Penrhyncoch has been worked since ancient times, and produced several hundreds of tons of silverlead ore and a few tons of copper. Most of the site has now been landscaped and disturbed by forestry operations. There is only one entrance which remains open, a level called Oliver’s Adit. It leads 250 feet to a collapse of debris and packwalls. Before the collapse is a well-preserved iron kibble, used to raise ore and waste rock up one of the many vertical shafts. On 18 June 2019, a few friends and I went into Oliver’s Adit in the hope of accessing further workings at Darren, since the adit was apparently continued over a thousand feet beyond the point at which a large collapse stands today.We found a narrow slit between a drystone packwall and the right-hand wall of the level above the collapse, through which we squeezed and found ourselves in a partially backfilled level which led immediately to Page 11

a large stope, where a huge amount of ore ground had been worked away. Ahead of us was a wall of huge boulders, choked in the stope and leaning overhead to a height of about 30 feet above the adit floor. Some of the boulders were loose, but we managed to climb safely to the top and found ourselves on a wide levelled platform. The badly degraded remains of a wooden wheelbarrow lay to one side, as well as a well-preserved gunpowder flask. Pleased at our progress so far, we found on the right-hand side of the levelled platform two narrow shafts, one of which was drystone lined. We belayed a rope at the top of the shaft, and I started to descend. At a depth of 15 feet, I saw that the entire stone lining of the 2-foot diameter shaft, as well as most of the platform we had been standing on, was entirely undercut and was virtually hanging in mid-air. With extreme care, and leaving one of our party members at the top for safety, we completed the abseil and

Chassis and ironwork of 2’3 gauge outside-flanged wagon reached the bottom, where we saw Oliver’s Adit continuing further into the mountain. It is unlikely that anybody had stood and explored beyond here for many years. The level continued to a wonderful artefact. The iron skeleton of an end-tipping tram wagon still stood on its rails; its wooden body had rotted away, but the iron frame was still attached to the chassis. It was outsideflanged, and the tramway on which it stood was most peculiar. The rails consisted of simple flat iron bars, set on their edge at an unusually wide 2’3” gauge, so wide that both rails were only a few inches from the walls of the passage. I have never come across such an arrangement nor such a wide gauge in a midWales metal mine before, with specially-made ‘Rich Mountains of Lead’ The Metal Mining Industry of Cwm Rheidol and Ystumtuen by Ioan Lord Available for purchase in our shop or online £45 https://shop. rheidolrailway.co.uk/ products/richmountains-of-leadioan-lord

chairs to fasten these rails to the sleepers. It is uncertain when the last person managed to access this deep section of the adit, but it is probable that this unusual wagon and its unique tramway have not been seen for many decades. Beyond the wagon, the adit continued for several hundred feet with the unique tramway in good condition on the floor. On the wall were several black marks where Another Iron wagon tallow candles had been fastened during found in No. 8 Adit the mine’s operation. The only historical documentation of a tramway in this adit is in the Mining Journal which reported that one which was being laid in 1864, but it is unknown whether this is the same one or whether the 2’3” gauge one we found dates from a later period of working. Our finds have been photographed and documented, since it will not be long before the areas which we passed through on our exploration will collapse and cause everything that lies beyond to be lost. Miner’s shovel and

Ioan has recorded some of his underground ammonal tin explorations on a helmet mounted camera. See some of the footage here: https://youtu.be/rAtfvqG_CpQ

Abseiling down a drystone-lined shaft

N.B. These mines are on Private property and entry is forbidden unless by prior arrangement. Mines in the Valley are very dangerous owing to the vertical shafts and the potential for them to be hidden within woodland. Exploration should only be undertaken by experienced persons!

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Vale of Rheidol Photo Archive By Rob Bance,VoR Archivist



n the 5th of April 1969, we see the 14.15pm passenger train headed by Locomotive No.7 passing the GWR built locomotive shed at Aberystwyth. This was the second season that trains had been running from between the former platforms No.1 & No.2 of the main Aberystwyth station. Today exciting things are happening at Aberystwyth with the project titled “Wales to the World�. This will see the current terminus at Aberystwyth transformed into a Great Western Railway style station with improved public facilities and a multifunction display facility inside the former steam locomotive shed. Trains now depart from where we see the train in the below photograph.

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Photo: John R Jones


Photo: Graham Gard

Photo: Jack Evans


Photo: Will Smith

Photo: Gareth PageJones 18

Vale of Rheidol Railway News

New car park is just the ticket!


contract has been awarded to a local company Tregaron Trading Services (TTS) to carry out the construction of a new car park for the Vale of Rheidol Railway at Devil’s Bridge which has commenced. The new car park will allow the existing car park area to be opened up as a pedestrian area for visitors with a separate coach park and will also be convenient for community events at the recently converted community hall. The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government (EAFRD). Llyr Ap Iolo, General Manager at The Vale of Rheidol Railway said “The existing railway car park is inadequate for the number of tourists who are now coming to the railway and visiting Devil’s Bridge. The new car park will have space for 78 vehicles including disabled parking with an accessible path to the station and 4 coach bays which will leave the area around the station and café to a pedestrian’s only area which will improve the safety and the ambience of the station.We are extremely grateful for the funding we have received from EAFRD, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to the area” Cllr Rhodri Davies said “With the Vale of Rheidol providing parking spaces it will be a great boost for visitors, and local Economy. The new pavement being built by the council will also improve access and pedestrian safety into the village for residents and visitors alike”.

Vale of Rheidol Railway News


Come and join us on our travels!

his year our show season started in February when we attended the Caravan and Camping Show in Birmingham NEC with our marketing stand which was a great success. The next few months will see us out and about again attending shows up and down the country. If you are in the area why not come and visit our stand for some show offers. This year we will be at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate from the 9th - 11th July 2019 then we travel across the country to the Countryfile Live Show at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxford from the 1st - 4th August before heading down south to the Great Dorset Steam Fair in Blandford Forum, Dorset from 22nd - 26th August with our marketing stand. Finally in November we will be attending the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition 2019 from 23rd to 24th November where we will draw our raffle competition winner. So if you haven’t bought a ticket and want the chance to win a Accucraft, BAGNALL 7″ x 12″ Live Steam 0-40ST in 7/8ths” Scale worth £1250 you still have time!! See our website or call our ticket office 01970 625819.

Forgotten Engines 2 - Steam Festival Weekend


14th & 15th September 2019

trio of steam locomotives out of public sight for decades will be unveiled as a centrepiece attraction for the Vale of Rheidol Railway’s 14-15 September Steam Festival Weekend. Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST Nesta (704 of 1899) will be seen in public for the first time since being rescued from a swamp in Puerto Rico by Robert Gambrill and repatriation to Britain in 2016. Nesta, the last remaining unrestored exPenrhyn slate quarry Hunslet, will be appearing in Wales for the first time since export to USA in July 1965. Also being unveiled in public for the first time in Britain will be ex-German army trench railways Maffei-built ‘Brigardelok’ 0-8-0T 4766 of 1916 (DFB No. 968) imported by Vale of Rheidol Railway in 2002 and Borsig 0-4-0WT 20HP Type 2 5913 of 1906 purchased by Vale of Rheidol Railway in 1994. The Steam Festival Weekend will feature guided workshop tours to view the three ‘forgotten’ engines, along with work in progress on other restoration projects. These are likely to include Vale of Rheidol Railway’s Hanomag 2-6-2+2-6-2 Garratt NG/G13 (10551/1927) No. 60, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway’s Baldwin 10-12-D 4-6-0T WDLR No. 794 (BLW44699/1917) undergoing restoration as Welsh Highland Railway No. 590 and Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s Beyer Peacock 0-6-0T No. 822 The Earl. Page 21

All three of Vale of Rheidol Railway’s classic 2-6-2T locomotives, Nos. 7 and 8 of 1923 and 1213 of 1924, will be in action working an intensive timetable each day service on both days. Between service trains unique ‘Driver for a Fiver’ opportunities at Aberystwyth offer the chance for visitors to take the regulator of a Rheidol Tank loco. Hunslet 0-4-0ST Margaret will offer further ‘Driver for a Fiver’ opportunities at Devil’s Bridge. The Railway’s new station, officially opened in June representing the first phase of Vale of Rheidol Railway’s £2.2million ‘Wales to the World’ transformation of its Aberystwyth terminus will be showcased, along with progress on phases 2 and 3 which in due time will include permanent displays of locomotives in the Railway’s collection.

Hunslet 0-4-0ST Nesta (HE704 of 1899) is one of four Small Quarry class Hunslet’s built for Penrhyn Quarry, the others being Margaret, Alan George and Elin. Nesta was exported to USA in 1965 and subsequently was moved to Puerto Rico from where Robert Gambrill negotiated its purchase. Nesta returned to Britain in 2016 and has been stored at a private site awaiting restoration. Her sister Margaret was restored by Vale of Rheidol Railway and will be working at Devil’s Bridge during the weekend. Alan George and Elin are presently undergoing overhauls at the Railway’s where they are based. JA Maffei Brigardelok 0-80T KLA 4766 of 1916, DFB 968 was built for use on the German army trench railways during World War One. Purchased by Ruvenhorst & Humbert in the 1940’s, it changed hands in 1967 and again in 1987 when bought by M Mervaux in Paris in 1987. Vale of Rheidol Railway purchased the loco in a French Auction in 2002. It seems to have done little work and remains in very good, original, condition. Borsig 0-4-0WT 5913 of 1906 is a 20HP Type 2 fitted with Walscherts valve gear. Built for the Briqueteries, Modernes N.V., Knokke - zwevegem, Belgium, where it ran as loco No. 3 the boiler was repaired by Focquet of Belgium in 1930 and it last steamed in 1965. Following purchase by Edelhart De Lille of Maldegem, Belgium, in 1972 it went into storage until being purchased by Vale of Rheidol Railway in July 1994. Another Borsig locomotive is privately owned by Vale of Rheidol Railway Chairman Peter Rampton.

Hunslet 0-4-0ST Nesta (HE704 of 1899)

JA Maffei Brigardelok 0-8-0T KLA 4766 of 1916, DFB 968

Borsig 0-4-0WT 5913 of 1906 Page 22

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About our staffAbout Our Staff Ieuan Jones

Engineering Apprentice & Guard


euan joined the railway as an apprentice on our carriage project during September 2017. Prior to coming to the railway he completed a Level 3 course in Light Vehicle Mainenance with Coleg Ceredigion on their Cardigan Campus. In his spare time he has been working on his project car, a 1972 Baja Bug Classic Beetle. He also enjoys unwinding by listening to music of all varieties, except opera & classical. He also loves guarding on our line and the opportunities to interact and meet all our visitors.

Will Parry Engineer


ill started at the VoR during November 2015. He is one of our machining specialists, spending all his time in our workshop facility at Aberystwyth. When away from the VoR’s workshop Will is busy in his own machine shop making parts for classic vehicles. He originally trained as a boat builder, and came to the VoR for the opportunities to do more machining, a role he enjoys. In his downtime Will enjoys riding his motorbike.

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In 1859, as a result of the perceived threat to Great Britain from the large increase in conscript armies on the Continent and especially the growing power of France, and given further impetus by a public outcry for improvements in the Country’s defence, a new Rifle Volunteer Movement, based on that of the Napoleonic Wars, was quickly formed to great popular enthusiasm. This led, in the same year, to the formation of the National Rifle Association. To achieve this it was necessary to ensure that the location, initially on Wimbledon Common and later at Bisley, was readily accessible by train. An extraordinary relationship now developed between the Association and the London and South Western Railway Company, and its successors, in fulfilling these aims. The culmination of this was the construction of the Bisley Camp Tramway which connected the L&SWR mainline at Brookwood with the NRA Camp. Interlinked with this is the fascinating story of the Association’s own unique tramways. These carried competitors and spectators to the more distant ranges as well as targets to the butts and for mobile targets. The military extensions to the Camp Tramway in both World Wars are also covered. The book relates the history of the NRA and its tramways from its foundation until the end of the twentieth century largely through contemporary letters, documents and photographs.

£40.00 GWR SIGNALLING PRACTICE by David J Smith This fresh account of latter-day GWR mechanical signalling practice commences with an historical overview tracing its development from primitive beginnings, follows with a description of operating methods then considers in detail the earlier and later patterns of signal and their variety of functions. Outside appliances and apparatus receive attention, as do signal boxes and their equipment. Treatment of the location of signals is expanded with examples of signal layouts on double and single lines, and a case study of one particular location. A range of appendices and an index complete the book, which is extensively illustrated with photographs, drawings and diagrams. 395 pages, over 260 photographs, 121 drawings (some official), 7 appendices, indexed.


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by R. A .Cooke

Featuring track layouts from the west Cornwall area. An ideal book for those modelling the area or with a general interest.



by Peter Dickinson

This volume explores the eastern half of the route, encompassing the towns of Ruabon, Llangollen, Corwen and Bala, as well as a brief introduction to the fundamentals of railway travel. A perfect companion for anyone visiting the preserved Llangollen Railway



CALEDONIAN RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVES by David Hamilton The Caledonian Railway was a major company. Its lines spread from Carlisle to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and it partnered the London & North Western Railway in operating the West Coast route, the first to run through trains from London to Scotland. Within Scotland, it served much of the industrial central belt, carrying significant volumes of coal and iron from a multitude of small mines and works. This required a large stock of goods and mineral locomotives, whilst passenger trains varied from expresses linking the major cities to humble tanks operating rural branch lines on relaxed schedules.The first lines of the Caledonian Railway opened in the late 1840s but some of its later absorbed constituents dated from the 1830s. The locomotives varied from the 8ft singles to the humble shunting tank.The Caledonian was at the forefront of several developments in locomotive design as it evolved to meet these needs. In this book, the author describes all the locomotives built for the Caledonian and its constituents up to 1882. That is a convenient point to conclude this volume as it marks the retirement of George Brittain. His successor, Dugald Drummond, introduced a number of changes in design that will be described in the second volume which will conclude the story of Caledonian locomotives. Several significant developments are covered within these pages, as the early engineers struggled to understand the basic principles of locomotive design. Coal took the place of the more expensive coke and the proportions of smokebox, firebox and boiler had to be adjusted. Proper braking had to be installed and even the poor locomotive crew had to be treated to more than a thin weatherboard as speeds increased. By treating these early aspects of design in detail, this book will appeal not only to those with a specific interest in the Caledonian Railway but to a wider audience who want to know more about how the Victorian steam locomotive developed.


Vsit our online shop - https://shop.rheidolrailway.co.uk/ Page 26

Garden Railway Shop


Prototype Engine No. 1 is an 0-4-0 ST steam locomotive built by H. K. Porter & Co., in 1899. This steam engine was the first locomotive that operated in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1905. The Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad is a non-profit organization of volunteers that restored and now operates Engine No. 1. Technical Parameters: 1. Scale: 1/20.3 scale 2. Rail Gauge: gauge 45mm 3. Dimensions: L210 x W90x H137mm 4. NW:1.63KGS 5.Wheel Configuration: 0-4-0 6. Fuel: Butane gas 7. Power model live steam 8. Rail:1100#, rail radius 600mm Model Features: 1. Stephenson reversing gear 2. Single combustion tube 3. Butane only 4. Working safety valve 5. Working whistle 6. Water gauge 7. Adjustable lubeplant 8. British pressure gauge


The Falk was designed for use on Northern California’s logging railroads. The Falk is a straightforward design which uses two cylinders to power its drivers and a third, independent cylinder to power the capstan winch. Technical Parameters: 1. Scale: 1/20.3 (G scale) 2. Dimension: L222.5mm x W109.6mm x H151.7mm 3. N.G: 2.23KGS 4. Rail track : G scale, Gauge 45mm 5.Wheel Configuration: 0-4-0 6. Boiler: Single burning pipe, Working pressure 70PSI 7. Fuel: Butane gas 8. Runtime: more than 10 minutes Model Features: 1. Brass construction and stainless steel wheel 2. Removable cab roof 3. Opening smoke box door 4. Copper boiler 5. Butane gas fired 6. Adjustable safety valve 7. Water gauge 8. British pressure gauge 9. Stephenson reversing gear 10. Workable whistle 11. Axle water pump with bypass valve


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Accucraft 7/8ths Bagnall Live Steam Engine - Worth £1250


tick £2 per 3 for £5

Buy you Raffle Ticket Today! Buy online through our website or call 01970 625819 All proceeds from the raffle go to our carriage fund

Visit our model and garden rail shop online

Buy your raffle tickets here: https://shop.rheidolrailway.co.uk/collections/raffle-ticket Page 28

2019 / 2020 Timetable 1. Pick your day of travel from the calendar. 2. Match the colour to the relevant timetable below. Please note there are no services on white days.

T 2 9 16 23 30

JULY 2019 W T F S 3 4 5 6 10 11 12 13 17 18 19 20 24 25 26 27 31

S 7 14 21 28

AUGUST 2019 M T W T F S 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 30 31

S 4 11 18 25

SEPTEMBER 2019 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

OCTOBER 2019 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

NOVEMBER 2019 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

DECEMBER 2019 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

JANUARY 2020 M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 28 29 30 31

S 5 12 19 26

FEBRUARY 2020 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

MARCH 2020 M T W T F S

APRIL 2020 M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 28 29 30

S 5 12 19 26

2 9 16 23 30

Page 17

M 1 8 15 22 29

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

S 1 8 15 22 29

Aberystwyth Capel Bangor Aberffrwd Devil’s Bridge Devil’s Bridge Aberffrwd Capel Bangor Aberystwyth

dep: dep: dep: arr: dep: dep: dep: arr:

ORANGE 10:30 2:00 10:50 2:20 11:10 2:40 11:30 3:00 12:30 4:15 12:50 4:35 1:10 4:55 1:30 5:15

Aberystwyth Capel Bangor Aberffrwd Devil’s Bridge Devil’s Bridge Aberffrwd Capel Bangor Aberystwyth

dep: dep: dep: arr: dep: dep: dep: arr:

10:30 10:50 11:10 11:30 12:30 12:50 1:10 1:30

12:10 12:30 12:50 1:15 2:15 2:35 2:55 3:15

10:30 10:50 11:10 11:30 12:30 12:50 1:10 1:30 GREEN 2:00 2:20 2:40 3:00 4:00 4:20 4:40 5:00

Why not Upgrade to the First Class Saloon?

for seating that yields extra comfort and observation windows.

YELLOW 12:10 2:00 12:30 2:20 12:50 2:40 1:15 3:00 2:15 4:00 2:35 4:20 2:55 4:40 3:15 5:00 3:45 4:05 4:25 4:45 5:45 6:05 6:25 6:45

6:00 6:20 6:40 7:00 8:00 8:20 8:40 9:00

3:45 4:05 4:25 4:45 5:45 6:05 6:25 6:45 GOLD 11:00 11:20 11:40 12:00 2:00 2:20 2:40 3:00

Romance of a Steam Train to your Special Day.. Add the

Aberystwyth’s most unique wedding reception venue

With a variety of opportunities and locations, the possibilities are endless. From using the Steam train to get from the ceremony to the reception venue, or even holding your reception at one of our charming stations. The Railway is completely flexible to make your dream day come true.

Contact us on 01970 625 819

marketing@rheidolrailway.co.uk www.rheidolrailway.co.uk Park Avenue, Aberystwyth SY23 1PG

Photo by Gareth Jones


Telephone us: 01970 625 819 - Park Avenue, Aberystwyth SY23 1PG Regular steam train services running throughout the year

Profile for Vale of Rheidol Railway

Rheidol Review - Vale of Rheidol Railway Newsletter Issue 4 - 2019  

Welcome to the Fourth edition of our newsletter for 2019, this edition is filled with news, articles on the mines in the Rheidol Valley, al...

Rheidol Review - Vale of Rheidol Railway Newsletter Issue 4 - 2019  

Welcome to the Fourth edition of our newsletter for 2019, this edition is filled with news, articles on the mines in the Rheidol Valley, al...