Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and the Wye valley
  The coming of the railway  

By the 1860s Britain was in the grip of railway fever with new railways being built all across the country.
The major towns and cities of England had already been connected by railways, and local business people were anxious that the towns of Mid-Wales should not miss out.
Eventually the Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway was created to connect those towns with a new railway, and to join with the Mid-Wales railway at the Three Cocks junction.
In this way the people of Hay could travel to Brecon, Builth, Llanidloes, Rhayader and Hereford. As many of these places had other railways going to different destinations, this would connect local people with a wider railway network.

  The railway opened in September 1864 with a new station for Hay just over the border in England. Because the new railway was largely built along the old tramroad, a new bridge over the Wye had to be built at a higher level so that the new railway could go underneath it.
The opening was celebrated with a huge picnic, marching bands, and a firework display.
The Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway was later taken over by the Midland Railway, but the service continued throughout the Victorian period at a level of four trains per day each way during the week.
  From 1889 Hay station was also connected to the Golden Valley railway. The map shows the station at about the time of the end of Queen Victoria's reign.
You can see a wide new approach to the small station where carts and carriages can turn round. Also notice the goods shed and cattle pens. This is where the
goods and livestock were kept for transport on the railway. This offered important new opportunities for local farmers and business men. The local people of the area were able to buy new goods - which were brought in by train - in the local shops.

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