John Speller's Web Pages Llanidloes & Newtown Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge
Llanidloes & Newtown Railway
The Llanidloes & Newtown Railway was the first railway on the scene in Central Wales. In 1852 the people of Llanidloes promoted the 14-mile Llanidloes & Newtown Railway, whose Act received the Royal Assent on 4 August 1853. The authorized capital was 60,000, with authority to borrow an additional 20,000. The Chairman was George Hampton Whalley, M.P., of Plas Madoc, Ruabon, and the Deputy Chairman was William Lefeaux, a local mine owner. The Secretary was Thomas Hayward. The Engineer was Rice Hopkins (1807-1857), who was also Engineer of the West Somerset Mineral Railway. The Contractor was David Davies (1818-1890) of Llandinam. Construction began in October 1855, and by August 1856 Llandinam had been reached, and Penstrowed by the beginning of 1858. Owing to the difficulty of raising funds, construction came to a standstill in 1858, but resumed in 1859. The line to Newtown finally opened on 31 August 1859. There were intermediate stations at Dolwen, Caersws (later renamed Moat Lane Junction) and Llandinam. Under an agreement of 21 July 1859 the Contractor, David Davies and his partner Thomas Savin agreed to work the line. The first locomotive was named "Dove" and was bought secondhand for 400. Other early locomotives were "Enterprise" (nicknamed the "Black Donkey"), "Squirrel," and "Milford." According to Bradshaw's Manual for 1862, the line possessed a total of 12 locomotives. The line remained isolated from the rest of the British railway system until 1863, when the Oswestry & Newtown Railway connected it with the Great Western Railway at Oswestry. On 25 July 1864, the Llanidloes & Newtown Railway joined with the Oswestry & Newtown Railway, the Oswestry, Ellesmere & Welshpool Railway, and the Newtown & Machynlleth Railway to form Cambrian Railways, which passed to the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922. Passenger service south of Moat Lane Junction ceased on 31 December 1962, and goods service was also withdrawn on 2 October 1967.
Map of the Llanidloes & Newtown Railway
Llanidloes station, former headquarters of the Llanidloes & Newtown Railway, August 1990. Image Copyright Nigel Brown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Llanidloes & Newtown Railway's first locomotive "Dove" was purchased secondhand for 400. It was probably one of three locomotives, "Derwent," "Trent" and "Dove," that were built for the Birmingham & Derby Junction Railway, a constituent of the Midland Railway, by Sharp, Roberts & Co. in 1839, to a design similar to the above drawing
Moat Lane Junction, 11 May 1957. Image Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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