The Vale of Rheidol Railway “Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol” travels along the beautiful Rheidol Valley from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. You can travel in open carriages during the summer months, right through to luxurious first-class observation saloons in operation all year round. The route climbs up to seven-hundred feet during the twenty-three and a half-mile return journey, with the scenery changing from open fields and woodland to mountain landscapes. The locomotives and carriages were built for the line by the Great Western Railway between 1923 & 1938. The locos and carriages run on it’s one-foot, eleven and three-quarter inch gauge line.
The line was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1897 before finally opening in 1902 carrying lead ore, timber and passengers. The original stations were at Aberystwyth, Llanbadarn, Capel Bangor, Nantyronen and it’s terminus at Devil’s Bridge. After a decline in freight and passengers, the line closed for winter passengers in 1930 before fully closing for the duration of the War in 1939.
British Rail took over the ownership from Great Western Railway in 1948 (GWR had previously gained ownership from Cambrian Railways). The line has the honour of being the last steam railway that BR owned before they were privatised in 1989 and, apart from the War years, it is one of the few Welsh narrow-gauge lines that has never closed.
The railway is now owned by a charitable trust.