Vale of Rheidol Railway Restored

A period of winter restoration has seen Devil’s Bridge Station restored to return it closer to its Edwardian appearance, including traditional station lighting.

Winter maintenance at Devil’s Bridge Station along the Vale of Rheidol Railway has seen it lovingly conserved and certain features restored to return it closer to its Edwardian appearance. The most novel feature to be restored is the station lighting, which appears to have been removed during the 1940s. As in the 1910s, today’s station lamps are to be gas lit – this has required the development and installation of a bottle fed LPG system at Devil’s Bridge.

The lamp columns sourced to adorn Devil’s Bridge platform are a remarkable find in themselves, bearing works-plates showing they were built by the Avonside Engine Co. Avonside, of Bristol, built a number of small, industrial narrow gauge railway engines used throughout Wales, making these lamps a particularly poignant addition to one of Wales’ premier narrow gauge railways. The water tank at Devil’s Bridge, a feature of many photos of locos running round at the throat of the station has also been sympathetically replaced. A new tank, a close replica of the original was transported up to Devil’s Bridge by train and installed during early February.

Aberystwyth Booking Office and Gift Shop has been refurbished, providing twice as much shop space and two serving kiosks. The increased shop space will provide a much more visitor friendly experience, and complement a vastly increased range of products, which will also be available online. The additional serving kiosk will enable two booking clerks to be on duty at any one time, vastly reducing the time taken to serve a whole train load of passengers.

As well as a comprehensive collection of railway books and DVDs, it is anticipated future products will include local souvenirs, model railway items and an increased range of refreshments, ready to complement Aberystwyth Station’s new picnic area. Aberystwyth terminus has also been the site of continuing P-Way work, with a rail connection to the new workshop recently being completed.

Click here to see how the Vale of Rheidol weathered the winter storms


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