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Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway Committee notice 1868 | by ian.dinmore
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Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway Committee notice 1868

Aberystwith and Welch Coast Railway (sic) was authorised in 1861, the railway was intended to run between the Cardigan Bay towns of Aberystwyth and Porthdinllaen near Nefyn on the Lleyn Peninsula. The plan also included a link with the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway by means of a line from Machynlleth to Ynyslas on the southern shore of the Dyfi estuary opposite Aberdyfi, the Dyfi itself to be bridged at this point.

Work began at Machynlleth, and the line was opened through to Aberystwyth in 1864. However, the planned Dyfi bridge at Ynyslas proved impracticable, requiring the divergence between the Aberystwyth and Coast lines to be moved 6 miles east to Dyfi Junction. This added 12 miles to the journey north from Aberystwyth, but the twisting line – just a few feet above high tide level - between Dyfi Junction and Aberdyfi remains one of the most scenic sections of railway in Britain.The Aberystwith & Welch Coast Railway was incorporated by Act of 22 July 1861, for a line from Aberystwyth through Towyn, Barmouth and Portmadoc to Pwllheli, with a connection south of the Dovey to the N&MR at Machynlleth. The L&NR and O&NR subscribed a quarter of the share capital but the N&MR insisted on a clause permitting them to build the section from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth, failing its prompt construction by the A&WCR. By Act of 29 July 1862 an extension to Porth Dinllaen was authorised (which was not built), and a branch from Barmouth to Dolgellau (which was) to meet pro GWR companies advancing from Ruabon.

The Machynlleth to Aberwystwyth section was opened first on 23 June 1864 to passengers, freight having already begun. The proposed bridge over the Dovey Estuary was not built, the crossing proved too difficult, but construction north thereof had progressed and the line as far as Penmaenpool opened on 3 July 1865. An Act was obtained on 5 July 1865 to connect with the Machynlleth to Aberystwyth line at Morben (Dovey Junction) instead of the bridge, this section from Aberdovey (with the harbour branch) was opened on 14 August 1867. The rest of the A&WCR to Pwllheli was open by 10 October 1867.

The contractor of the A&WCR was Thomas Savin, who had the entire Cambrian Railways system leased to him as payment for works done by Act of 5 July 1865, the same day as the Cambrian and Coast Railways (Amalgamation) Bill was passed.

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Uploaded on February 13, 2014