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Powys Digital History Project
Welshpool and district
The Light Railway
  A new railway for Welshpool  

The Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway did not open until 1903, which was after the death of Queen Victoria (1901). But the project was greatly helped by the Light Railways Act of 1896, which made government money available for local lines to be built in poorer rural areas.

  'Light Railway' trains had to run at lower speeds than main-line railways, and there were fewer regulations and restrictions.
Approval was given in 1899 for the line which was just over 9 miles long heading west out of Welshpool to Llanfair Caereinion.
Route map
ceremony on
4th April
Railway opening,1903 The Earl of Powis performed the opening of the new line, which was attended by the directors and senior staff of the Light Railway and of the Cambrian Railways. The Earl and these important officials can be seen on the right, and local people are on the left in this photograph.

The official opening ceremony took place in April 1903 in Welshpool, and there was great excitement in the town. Like the opening of the mainline railways in the 1860s it was a time for local celebration.
The railway company did not have enough money for a proper station, so the train started in Smithfield Road. The platform was just gravel, and a small building served as a ticket office and waiting room.
There are more early photographs of the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway on the next page...

Enough room for a little train...


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