Vale of Rheidol Railway

Vale of Rheidol steam railway train

Vale of Rheidol train in full steam. (Rob Phillips)

Once a working link between local lead mines and the harbour, the Vale of Rheidol Railway now runs a steam train service through the Rheidol Valley for visitors and sightseers.

Built in 1902 to provide a link between the lead mines of the Rheidol Valley and Aberystwyth's harbour, this narrow-guage steam railway was the last steam railway operated as part of the national rail network, before being sold in 1989.

Rising nearly 200 metres along its 11¾ mile (19 km) route, the railway is a considerable feat of engineering. Indeed, half of this impressive climb is achieved in just the final 3½ miles of the journey - that's a climb of nearly two metres every 100 travelled!

As it passes through the valley on the hour-long journey, the train provides excellent views of the beautiful countryside. The route is notable for its narrow gauge (the rails are just 60 cm apart) and sharply winding curves.

The railway terminates at Devil's Bridge. Here you can choose to go and see the three bridges over the river, or visit some of the other, separately-operated attractions such as the famous Mynach Falls, Devil's Punch Bowl and Jacob's Ladder. You can choose to ride in first class, normal carriages or open-sided observation cars, if you prefer!

Trains leave from the railway's own station - the car park is roughly opposite the police station on Park Avenue. A pedestrian entrance is also available from the end of Platform 1 on the mainline railway station.

There are generally two departures a day between Easter and October, increasing to four a day on certain summer days. Trains also run on selected dates outside these times, such as for Christmas specials and private hires.

Trains normally wait for an hour at Devil's Bridge before making their return journey which gives time to see the key sights - or you may wish to stay longer and return on a later train.

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