Published 9th March 2012
ABERYSTWYTH - Following news that the Vale of Rheidol Railway was converting its 2-6-2T No. 8 Llywelyn from oil-firing to coal, it has now been announced that five of the intermediate stations on the line are to be restored on the narrow gauge Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge railway line.
The stations project is supported by a grant secured through the Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and will see new station buildings constructed at Capel Bangor and Aberffrwd. Small waiting shelters similar to the original buildings will be provided for the halts at Nantyronen, Rheidol Falls and Rhiwfron.
This is a community-oriented project aimed at encouraging more people to stop at the locations and explore the Rheidol Valley. It is hoped that volunteers (this will be the first time volunteers have been sought to assist the full time VoR staff) will adopt the stations and develop the gardens, contact Helen Duffee at email@example.com if you would like to get involved.
The railway’s only surviving original station structure, the booking office at Devil's Bridge, has been listed since 1988. All other station structures were demolished by BR prior to the VoR being sold to private ownership, but drawings were made enabling their reproduction by contractors on behalf of the present owners.
The VoR’s terminus is alongside Aberystwyth’s national network station, making the VoR exceptionally easy to visit by rail. Current work at the narrow gauge line’s station has seen the ground level island platform removed with a new raised platform under construction on the site of the old Manchester and Milford Railway platform. The train will still be in the same position as previously, but passengers will board from the other side! As part of this revised arrangement the VoR’s booking office has been moved from a position near the buffer stops to a new location at the loco shed end of the platform. This move is well worth viewing at http://youtu.be/O0bw3vZB7c8 .
No. 8 Llywelyn can be seen in service as a coal burner in passenger service for the first time over Easter when, with oil-burning No. 9 Prince of Wales, the VoR will be running a high season service.