Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Montgomery and district
  The railway comes to the area  
  In the 1840s and 1850s Britain was seized with railway fever. As people saw the huge benefits of the first railways like that between Liverpool and Manchester (opened in 1830) they wanted their own communities to be connected by rail. So it was that the bigger towns and cities were connected first.
In 1862 the line between Welshpool and Newtown opened with a station for Montgomery on the line at Caer-Howel.
The famous Victorian engineer Brunel proposed a line from Worcester to Montgomery and Newtown, where it would cross the River Severn over a 52m (170ft) high viaduct and continue to the west Wales coast for connections to Ireland and America. Unfortunately for Montgomery the line was never built.
  map of Montgomery station

Unfortunately for the townspeople of Montgomery, the station was nearly two miles away, so this was not as convenient as it might have been.

Even so, this did open up transport and travel for the area. It was faster and cheaper to travel by train and goods could be sent in goods wagons. This was good for local farmers and craftsmen who wanted to sell their goods in markets further away. It was bad for some local craftsmen however.

  The trains also brought in cheap goods mass-produced in factories in the towns and cities. Local craftsmen often could not compete, and many of them disappeared from the villages.  

The staff of Montgomery station around 1890

Photograph by kind permission of the Old Bell Museum, Montgomery Civic Trust

Montgomery station staff

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