SN5881 : Aberystwyth Station, Locomotive number 9, "Prince of Wales"

taken 3 years ago, near to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion/Sir Ceredigion, Great Britain

Aberystwyth Station, Locomotive number 9, "Prince of Wales"
Aberystwyth Station, Locomotive number 9, "Prince of Wales"
Vale of Rheidol Railway locomotive number 9 was built for the Great Western Railway in 1924. It was named “Prince of Wales” in 1956 and currently carries a smart GWR Black livery with shirt button logo. Here, it is at Aberystwyth Station, where the railway shares its western terminus with the standard gauge main line. Prince of Wales has been decoupled from the train and is waiting to run around it to recouple at the other end in readiness for the return journey to Devil’s Bridge.

The steam train is standing at the former Manchester & Milford Railway bay platform but, because of the height difference between narrow gauge and "normal" trains, passengers don't board from the actual platform (on the far side of the track in this photograph), but from ground level on the near side of the track.
The Vale of Rheidol Railway (Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol)
The Vale of Rheidol Railway (Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol) is a 1 ft 11 ¾ in narrow gauge heritage railway that runs for 11 ¾ miles between the coast at Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains.

The line opened in 1902 to carry lead ore, timber and passenger traffic. At the time of building, it was of the most up to date standard of narrow gauge construction, and passed through terrain where it would have been almost impossible to build a standard gauge line without prohibitive costs. The narrow track gauge allows the railway to follow the contours of the hillside with many sharp curves and steep gradients which add to the railway's charm.

At the height of the lines prosperity, in 1912, consideration was given to converting the line to electric traction, using hydro-electric power from the River Rheidol. However, control of the line passed to the Cambrian Railways in the same year and plans were shelved. Following the Great War, a decline in mine traffic was balanced somewhat by a growing tourist trade. In 1923 Cambrian Railways were themselves absorbed by the Great Western Railway and goods services were withdrawn completely, and the harbour branch at Aberystwyth closed. The winter passenger service was withdrawn in 1930, and the line closed completely from the end of the 1939 summer service for the duration of the Second World War. Ownership of the line passed to British Railways in 1948, and it survived through threats of closure to become the last sole steam-operated railway operated by British Rail; steam traction having ceased in 1968 on all other parts of the network.

The railway is now owned by a charitable trust. The locomotives and carriages currently in use were built for the line by the Great Western Railway between 1923 and 1938.

LinkExternal link Vale of Rheidol railway website
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SN5881, 2689 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 13 April, 2016   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 19 April, 2016
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre  Railways 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic DMC-G7 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 5854 8151 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:24.7947N 4:4.8761W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 5856 8149
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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