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Ride Llanfair Ginny for 14 shillings (that’s 70p!)

Created on 21/03/2017 @ 05:31
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The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway is looking forward to opening what will be a milestone season on Saturday, April 1, with the first special event of the year aimed especially at local people.

Over the opening weekend, anyone showing that they live in an SY21 postcode will be able to take a return trip on the line for just 70p, or 14 shillings in old money. Why 14 shillings? That is what today’s usual return fare of £13.50 would have been equivalent to in 1963, the year that the Llanfair Line reopened as a heritage railway.

The 2017 season will be the 54th in which the railway has been operated almost entirely by volunteers, overtaking the 53 years – 1903 to 1956 – that it was run commercially by the line’s three previous owners the Cambrian Railway, Great Western Railway and British Railways.

A number of celebrations are planned throughout the 2017 season, but staff and volunteers on the line feel that this first event should recognise the role the community played in building and operating the railway in its first half century.  

In addition to the usual services on the printed timetable, two extra trains will run on each day of the weekend from Llanfair Caereinion to Castle Caereinion only, recreating the section operated between reopening in 1963 and the return to Welshpool finally achieved in 1981.

These will leave Llanfair Caereinion at 10.25am and 1.20pm each day, pausing 10-15 minutes at Castle Caereinion while the engine runs around before returning to Llanfair – the round trip will be about one hour and five minutes.

“Today the Llanfair line is known the world over but it also remains a very important part of the local community,” said W&LLR general manager Charles Spencer. We consider it very important that we celebrate that relationship first in this milestone year.”

The opening of the new season follows much maintenance work carried out by staff and volunteers over the winter. Jobs achieved this year have included the complete renewal of the level crossing at Dolarddyn Road, while early travellers will notice much better views as they steam up the Golfa Bank from Welshpool, thanks to the clearance efforts of the W&LLR’s determined hedgebashers group.

Full information on the railway, including online ticket booking, can be found on the website or by calling 01938 810441.

SY21 residents taking advantage of the opening weekend special offer will need to buy their tickets on the day at the booking office.

PICTURE (Basil Roberts/W&LLR Archives): In 1963 many local residents joined enthusiasts at Llanfair Caereinion station to welcome back the trains.


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