Mid Wales Towns Tour Journey Notes 3 - Newtown to Machynlleth
Times in brackets are approximate passing times - assuming departure from Newtown on schedule at 10.06. Left or Right refers to when facing direction of travel.
10.06 Leaving Newtown, we continue to follow the River Severn for six miles.
(10.11) We cross over the A470/A489 roads and over the River Severn for the final time. Llanidloes, the first town on the Severn with a population of some 2,300, is 7 miles upstream and south-west of here. We stop at Caersws station; the name of the village is derived from a Roman fort. A short railway line (the Van Railway) used to run from here to serve silver and lead mines. Production peaked in 1876 when ore valued at over £100,000 (worth £8 million today) was mined. From 1868 until 1887, the manager of the Van Railway at Caersws was John Ceiriog Hughes, a Welsh poet and collector of Welsh folk tunes who did for Welsh poetry what Wordsworth and Coleridge did for English poetry.
10.13 Depart Caersws station.
(10.14) R - In the distance can been seen the village of Llanwnog and the parish church of St Gwynnog which contains the best example of a 15th or 16th century rood screen and loft in Montgomeryshire. The hamlet of Pontdolgogh is then on our left with a 17th century coaching inn.
(10.20) L - Carno. When Laura Ashley started her business, her very first factory was here by the side of the railway just before a road level crossing. Her delivery trucks used to be inscribed “London, New York, Paris and Carno”! The buildings have been empty for some time (although there is still a large Texplan factory in Newtown) and sadly Laura Ashley shops in both Newtown and Aberystwyth have closed.
(10.22) Talerddig. An isolated passing loop for the single line railway; we now descend Talerddig Bank - you can feel the train start to go downhill! Almost 120 feet deep and cut through solid rock, it was the deepest in the world at the time of its completion in 1862.
(10.28) L - Llanbrynmair. The village rose to local prominence with the building of a new turnpike road to Machynlleth in 1821 and the arrival of the railway in 1861.
(10.35) L - Cemmaes Road. A small railway hamlet (the actual village of Cemmaes is 2 miles north-east) slate was once hauled here on the main line from slate quarries in the area.
10.43 Arrive at Machynlleth station and leave the train.