The Ruabon to Barmouth Line (OOP)
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Running through the sylvan beauty of the Dee Valley in Wales, the journey by train from Ruabon to Barmouth was arguably one of the finest in Great Britain. The Great Western Railway described the journey as ‘A paradise for artists and fishermen and a country rich in mountain streams, wild woods and wide far views, unbeaten in any part of Wales’. Leaving the busy industrial environs of Ruabon – with its mines, quarries, brick, tile, pipe and chemical works – the line soon entered the picturesque Vale of Llangollen. For over 50 miles the railway folloed the valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. The historic towns of Llangollen, Corwen, Bala and Dollgellau were called at before the line reached the beautiful expanse of the Mawddach Estuary. Keeping to the south side of the Estuary, the line joined the main coast lines of the former Cambrian Railways at Barmouth Junction, before heading north over the famous Barmouth Bridge and into the holiday resort of Barmouth. Local author Martin F. Williams has enjoyed a lifelong interest in the Ruabon to Barmouth line, its people and its history. Many years of research have brought him into contact and close friendship with many who knew and worked on the line, providing a unique working insight into its day-to-day operation. Using hundreds of photographs, with a number in colour and many previously unpublished, together with informative text and captions, he takes the reader on a fascinating journey along the line, back in time – from its earliest days until its closure under Dr Beeching in January 1965.
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