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Aberystwyth to Carmarthen

Aberystwyth to Carmarthen
Including Newcastle Emlyn and Aberayron Branches

Geraint Roberts

306 pages. 275x215mm. Printed full colour throughout on gloss art paper, laminated printed board covers.

ISBN13 9781915069405


In terms of railway use, a journey from Aberystwyth south involves a lengthy detour via Shrewsbury. Once there was a direct route – although ‘direct’ would be perhaps a flattering description. Like many of Britain’s railways, it evolved haphazardly, depending on funding, topography and land purchase. What for most of the twentieth century was referred to as the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway, was created by the endeavour of three companies that culminated in a network consisting of one line between the two towns, and two quiet branches to Newcastle Emlyn and Aberayron (Aberaeron). Even under the dreaded Beeching axe (aided and abetted by the elements), the line did not go quietly, and part of it was used for dairy and other goods traffic until 1973. Geraint Roberts has researched the history of the railway and provides a story of the rise and fall of this quirky line, with the help of newspaper reports, reminiscences from two British Railway firemen and numerous illustrations and signalling diagrams. The book provides a feel of how things were in a bygone time, explaining the rationale behind the route and the names of the companies that built it, and their ambitions, successes and failures.

Aberystwyth to Carmarthen - Sample Images

sample book illustration
A cool hazy day sees No. 46520 cross the Rheidol bridge into Trefechan. The ex-LM&SR Ivatt ‘Moguls’ were regular visitors to Aberystwyth – but rarely seen on Carmarthen-bound trains. Starting from Aberystwyth, the engine has a boiler full of water, and the cold day and 1 in 40 incline account for the large amount of steam. The town is opened up in this scene: the square block of the Inland Revenue building looks on with cool indifference, above it is the University’s Edward Davies Building with its iconic central cupola. T. B. Owen
sample book illustration
From 1951, the Aberayron Branch lost its passenger service and the line relied on milk, parcels and pick up goods traffic. A good example of this is the 1960 image of No. 7439 en route to Aberayron Junction with a modest haul of two milk wagons and a parcels van. The late Andrew Muckley, courtesy Carol Muckley