The Heart of Wales Railway
The Heart of Wales railway provides a lifeline for many towns and villages along its 120 mile length between Swansea and Shrewsbury, and Llandrindod Wells lies at the midway point.
The railway has a long and colourful history having been constructed by no less than five different railway companies over a 29 year period between 1839 and 1868, when the line was finally opened as a through route. Primarily built to connect the North West of England with the then flourishing South Wales ports, it quickly seized on the potential offered by the growth of the Spa towns along the line, notably Llandrindod Wells, Llangammarch Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells. At one stage there were through carriages to many parts of the rail network including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London.
Freight traffic also played a major part in the line's development, and right up until the early 1960s it was open 24 hours per day to cater for heavy traffic which ran throughout the night.
As with many railways, it suffered severe cutbacks in the mid 1960s, but fortunately it still retains regular weekday services supplemented by Sunday trains during the summer months. With connections to all parts of the rail network, the railway is vital for the many small communities along the line which would otherwise be devoid of public transport. It is also used by many visitors to Llandrindod Wells and other towns along its length. Not only can it be used to get into the area, but is also useful for planning day trips and walking or cycling tours around the quiet, unspoilt countryside which is so easily accessible from the many wayside stations. Leaflets describing walks are available from the Llandrindod Tourist Information Centre or from the Heart of Wales Line Travellers' Association (HOWLTA), the local user group dedicated to the promotion and improvement of the line. For more details please contact the Membership Secretary, HOWLTA, Frankville, Broad Street, Llandovery, Dyfed SA20 OAR.
Reproduced with kind permission
from the booklet 'Llandrindod Wells Town Guide'
copyright Llandrindod Wells & District Chamber of Trade Visit http://www.llandrindod.co.uk
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