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The Vale of Rheidol is a 1'11.5" gauge line (usually rounded up to 2'!!), and was built in 1901, opening for passenger traffic in December 1902. Unlike most of the other Welsh preserved narrow gauge railways, the Vale of Rheidol was always primarily a passenger line, drawing its custom from tourists in the summer months, and miners travelling to the lead mines along the railway at other times. In 1910, an army camp at Lovesgrove further swelled the passenger traffic.
The line is notable too for the fact that it was operated up until 1989 by British Railways, including the use of steam locomotives. Notice in the pictures the BR logo on the side of the tanks. The three 2-6-2T locos, no.7 Owain Glyndwr , no.8 Llewelyn and no.9 Prince of Wales provide the motive power, all being built in 1923 at Swindon (note the standard GWR safety valve covers). It was suggested that the third was originally built by Davies and Metcalfe in 1902, but heavily overhauled and rebuilt in 1924 to match the other two: however this was a ruse used for accountancy reasons!
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