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The Shrewsbury & Welshpool Railway (Including the Minsterley


By the mid-1850s, Shrewsbury had become an important railway centre and several proposals were made to link the county town to the Welsh coast. In addition to passenger traffic, the coal, lead and stone mining district to the west of Shrewsbury, whilst not large, offered steady traffic, and so a railway from Shrewsbury to Welshpool was promoted locally. The branch to Minsterley opened in 1861, operated by the L&NWR and GWR from the outset, but difficulties with the one tunnel on the railway proved too much for the first contractor, delaying the opening of the main line for another year. Local services never really developed on the main line, but the growth of resorts along the Cambrian coast proved the line's worth as a through passenger route, particularly in the summer months. The story told here is of a modest line, overcoming several rival schemes and extensions, and with a surprisingly complex pattern of workings, all of which took place in a delightful corner of the Welsh Borders.



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