Llanfair Caereinion railway station

Llanfair Caereinion railway station

This station was opened in 1903 as the upper terminus of the narrow-gauge Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (WLLR), built to serve farming communities in the Banwy Valley.

The original passenger service was withdrawn in 1931 in favour of a bus service. Lorries also began to poach traffic from the railway but the coal-powered trains came into their own again during the petrol scarcity of the Second World War, when German U-boats sank freight ships and Britain had to increase domestic food production. Local farms needed more feed for livestock but there was nowhere to store it at the terminus here. The solution was to place the bodies of two Victorian carriages (standard gauge) on the disused passenger platform.

Goods trains continued until the line closed in 1956, when the post-war glut of army surplus lorries was stimulating new competition for Britain’s railways.

Rail enthusiasts soon banded together to take over the railway. In 1963 they began operating steam trains between Llanfair Caereinion and Castle Caereinion. There was a setback in 1964 when a flood damaged the bridge over the river Banwy, but the Royal Engineers stepped in to help the repair effort. The railway was extended to a new station at Raven Square, Welshpool, in 1981.

The WLLR’s two original steam locos survived. They are named after the Earl and Countess of Powis, of nearby Powis Castle. The original passenger coaches had long vanished by the 1960s, and the volunteers brought in rolling stock from Austria and other countries. In 1969 they acquired a loco built in 1944 for the German military at a factory in occupied France. It was soon named Sir Drefaldwyn (Welsh for Montgomeryshire).

Replicas of all three original coaches were built for the WLLR in the Ffestiniog Railway workshops at Porthmadog.

Postcode: SY21 0SF    View Location Map

Website of the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway