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vale of rheidol railwayDid you know……….

Aberystwyth was the last town in Britain to have a steam operated train line as ran by the nationalised British Rail organisation.

The Vale of Rheidol line is now popular with tourists, but was once the most popular destination for engine crews who liked the traditional steam traction engines as opposed to the electric lines.

The line was opened in 1902 to transport minerals from the Upper Rheidol Valley to Aberystwyth. However by this time the mining industry in the area was declining fast, and it was mostly due to the influx of tourists at the time that the line became profitable.

During the First World War the line was used to service the military camps set up in the valley, along with transporting timber into the town to be used for the war effort. During World War Two the line was closed completely.

Steam was phased out on all British Rail lines by 1968 except on the Vale of Rheidol line which ran for another 21 years under British Rail, until it was sold off into private hands in 1989.

Today the steam engine and carriages take passengers on a journey through the Cambrian Mountains as they climb the 11 and 3/4 miles to the spectacular Devil Bridge waterfalls.

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