John Speller's Web Pages Mawddwy Railway
John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge
Mawddwy Railway
The standard gauge Mawddwy Railway was built by Edmund Buckley of Dinas Mawddwy to serve the extensive slate quarries in the neighborhood. The contractor, Richard Samuel France, commenced work in 1866 and the line opened on 1 October 1867. It commenced at a junction with the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth line at Cemmes Road, and ran 6 miles 63 chains to Dinas Mawddwy, with intermediate stations at Cemmaes, Aberangell and Mallwyd. In 1892 the Hendre-Ddu Tramway opened, connecting the Mawddwy Railway's Aberangell station to further slate quarries at Maes-y-Gamfa. The line never really paid its way, and lack of funds led to poor maintenance. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1900, and goods service followed in April 1908. At this point, however, Cambrian Railways came to the aid of the little line, and a Light Railway order was obtained in 1910. Following the relaying of the track the line reopened on 29 July 1911. The Great Wesstern Railway took over Cambrian Railways in 1922, at which point the Mawddwy Railway became part of the GWR. Passenger services were once more withdrawn on 31 December 1930, but goods services continued until after Nationalization. The line was heavily damaged by flooding in September 1950, and finally abandoned on 1 July 1952.

In its days of independent operation the Mawddwy Railway possessed two locomotives, both 0-6-0STs built Manning, Wardle & Co. of Leeds. The first of these "Mawddwy" had been used by France in the construction of the line and was sold to the company in 1863. It was rebuilt in 1893 and 1911. Cambrian Railways transferred it to the nearby Van Railway, where it carried the Cambrian Railways No. 30. It was later GWR No. 824, and amazingly was not scrapped until September 1940. The other Manning, Wardle saddle tank was slightly larger and was named "Disraeli." It was scrapped in 1911. In later years GWR 14xx Class 0-4-2 tank engines were used on the line.

Map of the Mawddwy Railway excerpted from the Railway Clearing House Central Wales Junction Diagram
An early view of "Mawddwy" with a Mawddwy Railway passenger train
An early view of the Mawddwy Railways Manning, Wardle 0-6-0 saddle tank "Mawddwy"
The former Mawddwy Railway station at Aberangell looking north in 1999. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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