Published by Railfuture

Railwatch is the quarterly magazine of Railfuture, which is free to members.

Non-members can subscribe to Railwatch, receiving it by post.


Railwatch 073 - October 1997

Cambrian Lines

By Chris Magner

Correction The Barmouth to Pwhelli line celebrates its 130th anniversary this month, not the tenth as Railwatch reported in the last issue! We lost a three somewhere along the line. The latest newsletter of the Cambrian Rail Users Association states that £4 million of repairs are to complete the work needed to bring Barmouth Bridge up to the standard for locomotive-hauled traffic. The Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and Tywyn lines are now theoretically cleared for loco-hauled trains. So far none has materialised although a steam-hauled excursion is planned for the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth line this month. The annual weedkilling train visited the Aberystwyth and Tywyn sections on 10 June.

Publicity material Credit must be given to all those involved in promoting the Heart of Wales, Cambrian and Conwy Valley railways as this year there has been more newspaper and tourism publicity concerning them than ever before. When these lines struggled to exist in the 1970s and 1980s, the RDS strove valiantly to urge newspapers and tourism organisations to promote the scenic railways in their area. Now the message is at last getting through and people can no longer be unaware of the existence of these routes. Central Trains have reduced fares in order to encourage those wishing to travel by train to the seaside resorts along the Cambrian Coast The only snag for those travelling to Barmouth and Tywyn who wish to spend a longer time in the resorts is that they have to travel back to Machynlleth by specially organised road transport instead of by rail. The coaches are included in the beautifully produced Cambrian Lines summer folder.

Good heart The Heart of Wales lines basks in the best publicity it has ever had, particularly in the summer months. There should however be a five-trains-a-day service. Some passengers travelling to Shrewsbury to catch the train find the 0855 too early for a vist to Mid Wales. A 1030 departure would allow people from a wider catchment area to get to Shrewsbury for the train. More special trains have run over the Heart of Wales line this year than for many years. InterCity 125s and 12-coach loco-hauled sets have been run over the line from many parts of the Britain, including Liverpool, Weymouth, Hooton and London.

North Wales to Liverpool Members of the North Cheshire Rail Users Association are still valiantly trying to promote the once-a-week train (2013 Chester to Runcorn) along the link line from Frodsham to Runcorn. The Saturdays-only service from Chester to Runcorn main line is the last remnant of the Llandudno to Liverpool Lime Street service which the group wishes to see reinstated. The link line is now heavily overgrown with weeds and unfortunately the train has been cancelled on several weekends. To boost the 1997 season the NCRUA committee turned out in force for the first working on 7 June. Sixteen passengers travelled on the five-coach train, hauled by 37417 Scottish Hosteller. The group is involved in cleaning Helsby station and working parties are clearing weeds and rubbish. Details can be obtained from John Hobbs, 10 Wessex Close, Woolston, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 4DD.

Shrewsbury to Chester Following the comments in Railwatch, Central Trains has said it has no plans to increase the 70mph line speed. The line celebrates its 150th anniversary in October next year. The line's rail users association is hoping to organise events to celebrate. Ideas from RDS members would be welcome. Meanwhile the fight to increase the speed limit goes on. The Shropshire Star is backing the wrong horse by campaigning for an "expressway" road between Shrewsbury and Oswestry. Upgrading the road will obviously undermine the railway's finances.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

[Issue 73 Index]

[Railwatch Home] [Prev Issue (72)] [Railwatch Issues] [RIS Progress Reports] [SRUBLUK Progress Reports] [Next Issue (74)] [Railfuture Home]

Rail users are encouraged to join Railfuture to help us campaign for a bigger and better railway - membership for individuals is just £20 per year

Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.

Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.

Railfuture is the campaigning name of Railfuture Ltd.

A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.

Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634.

Registered Office: Edinburgh House, 1-5 Bellevue Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7NP (for legal correspondence only).

All other correspondence to 14 Ghent Field Circle, Thurston, Suffolk IP31 3UP

© Copyright Railfuture Ltd 2024.

Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.

Privacy Statement

Click Privacy to read Railfuture's GDPR statement on how we treat your data.


This site does not use its own cookies, although Google Analytics does. Hosted by TSO Host (cPanel) and maintained for Railfuture by Billing Specialists Ltd.