8th August 2012. A long-deferred trip to Aberystwyth with a friend finally took place. Our object had always been to travel from Birmingham to Aberystwyth by the central Wales railway (which somehow survived the railway cut-backs of the 1960s), then travel on the narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway from there to Devil’s Bridge & back. The latter had first been built as a mineral railway, but almost immediately also ran passenger trains for tourists. See http://www.rheidolrailway.co.uk/ for details. Above is some of Aberystwyth, an excellent holiday resort, if slightly off the beaten track, but vibrant with a flourishing University and a splendid place to visit. This shot is taken from the headland, served by an excellent Victorian Cliff Railway.
Here, seen at Devil’s Bridge Station, is one of the three locomotives that work the line. Numbered 7, 8 & 9 under the Great Western Railway’s system, they were always most desirable ‘cops’ as we used to call them when we were schoolboy locomotive spotters. Some of us never grow up, I’m glad to report!
As to the ‘Devil’s Bridge’… well, there are three bridges, one over the other. The modern steel one at the top, then the one it replaced, and at the bottom, the earliest one of all… but see http://www.devilsbridgefalls.co.uk/ for more details.
You can walk down & along the gorge of the River Rheidol, though it is quite deep. Here we see a view of the river cascading down. It’s quite a small river really; indeed, in Switzerland or the U.S. it wouldn’t be worth a second look! But it seems quite good to us. Notice in the centre & centre-left some brown staining? That’s due to the high iron content of the water. Both lead & iron ore were mined in the hills above Aberystwyth, though that has long ceased – though there is a great deal of poignant industrial archaeology to be seen on the mountain road leading back from Devils Bridge towards Rhayader.
Page written 3rd November 2012. It is cold; the ink is poor, and the light is bad.