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Friday, 7 September 2012

Rhiw Valley Light Railway

In a nutshell

Gauge:    15"   

Length:  ¾ mile circuit

Opened: 1970


Rhiw Valley Light Railway
Lower House Farm
Nr. Welshpool
SY21 8BJ

View Narrow Gauge Railways in a larger map


Date of visit: 2 September 2012


Key Facts

  • At present the railway is open on the first weekends of April, June and September
  • The railway was founded by the late Jack Woodroffe, a professional musician.
  • The railway has two steam and a petrol locomotive powered by a former mini engine
  • The line has five passenger coaches which were constructed on site
  • Proposals are in hand to extend the line (shown in white on the route plan below)
  • The railway is currently building a a replica Manning Wardle 2-6-2 locomotive inspired by those on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway




My Impressions

I visited the railway in the afternoon of the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Steam Gala. The Rhiw Valley is a short drive over the hill from Llanfair Caereinion. After paying the modest entrance fee, I spent some time admiring the locomotives and stock in the station area.
The station area
Jack: 0-4-0 built by Jack Woodroffe and TMA Engineering
Powys: 0-6-2 built by Severn Lamb
 I then boarded one of the bogie carriages and within a short while we were off.  We firstly negotiated the triangle which leads from  the station area to the main circuit. This is used to reverse the locos in addition to facilitating running the loop in either direction.

Out into the meadow the train picked up a little more speed........

...... before rounding the curve to run alongside the river which gives the railway its name.

The journey took longer than I expected as we crossed two meadows before returning via the other arm of the triangle to the station area.

Unable to resist the afternoon tea and cakes on the lawn, watching the trains come and go, I then took a wander around the site, where another coach was under construction.

It transpired that the steam loco, Powys, was incapacitated and so the petrol loco, Monty, was pressed into service. As there is no run-round loop at the station, the locos alternate hauling the trains, one waiting on the opposite arm of the triangle while the other enters the station.

A meander around the meadows provided opportunities for a photo session. Here we see Jack entering the triangle after a trip around the meadows.

 Jack approaching the river along the edge of the meadow.

Jack running beside the river across the meadow.

There is an air of delightful informality about the railway and its environment. After the hustle bustle of the Llanfair Gala, this little railway provided an atmosphere of calm. Tea and a biscuit on the lawn was a modest £1.00 and the entrance fee of £6.00 allowed for unlimited train trips. Given its proximity to Llanfair Caereinion, it's well worthwhile to coincide a visit the the W&LLR with one of this railway's open weekends.



  1. What an excellent little railway. I hope to visit in the near future.

    1. Yes, well worth a visit. Check the railway's website for its open days.