Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway
|Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway|
The S&WR was incorporated in an Act of Parliament in 1856. Although initially an independent company, the line was to be operated and maintained by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). Construction under the Act began in 1859, and by 1861 the line from Shrewsbury to Minsterley was completed, and opened on 14 February 1861. Construction of the main line to Welshpool was completed later in 1861 and officially opened on 27 January 1862.
The Minsterley branch served the agricultural communities of the area, but its main purpose was to carry lead from the mines along the Stiperstones hills. These mines were connected to the S&WR at Pontesbury by the 2 ft 4 in (711 mm) narrow gauge Snailbeach District Railways which opened in 1873 and closed in 1959. The Minsterley branch closed for passenger service in 1951 and for freight traffic in the mid 1960s.
The main line of the S&WR continued in use as the main route from Shrewsbury to Welshpool and, via the ex-Cambrian Railways main line, to mid-Wales and Machynlleth. The railway was jointly operated by the LNWR and the Great Western Railway until nationalisation, when it became part of British Railways.
- Baughan, Peter E. (1980). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume 11 North and Mid Wales (1st ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7850-3. OCLC 6823219.
- Baughan, Peter E. (1991). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume 11 North and Mid Wales (2nd ed.). Nairn: David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-9465-3759-3. OCLC 26361284.
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