27 November 2010

Tanat Valley

The Tanat Valley Light Railway opened in 1904. Operated by Cambrian Railways, the line ran from Gobowen, through Llynclys and Porthywaen, to Blodwell Junction. At Gobowen the line joined up with Cambrian's network; and at Blodwell with the erstwhile Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway. At Llanddu Junction, part way along, a branch line headed off to the quarries at Nantmawr.

Railway ownership and operation around here was, and remains, complicated. Major rationalisation came on 1 January 1923, when all lines in the area became part of Great (God's) Western (Wonderful) Railways. 25 years later, to the day, came nationalisation. Through the 1950s and 1960s there were numerous closures in British Rail's Western Region. The line between Gobowen and Blodwell remained open, for quarry traffic, until 1988.

The Cambrian Railways Society holds a lease on the line. The track has never been lifted, so the Society has, in some respects, less of an uphill struggle than its cousin, the Cambrian Railways Trust, the latter looking to reinstate the line between Oswestry and Llanymynech. At St Michael's in Llanyblodwel the ladies cleaning the church for Christmas kindly provide a cuppa to the cold examiner of bosses.

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