Recreation Railways commemorate Erwood Station closure
(All pictures courtesy of Andy Lunness/Recreation Railways)
Recreation Railways were asked to run at Erwood Railway Station, formally part of the Cambrian Railways between Brecon and Builth Wells.
This event saw RR run the second longest length of track than any of the previous events, only Charlton Road Viaduct being longer. Running on the former trackbed, No.3 Tinkerbell gave rides over 3 days (August Bank Holiday) during Erwoods 50th Anniversary celebrations of the closure of the line. Also present were various stands including the Brecon Moutain Railway, Traction Engines, original workmen from the Mid Wales line and music etc…
Erwood Station is situated near the River Wye in Erwood, Powys. Part of the Mid Wales line, Erwood is located about a 1/3 of the way from Free Street Station in Brecon, a joint station.
An interesting fact is Erwood was on the same section of railway that Talgarth was where, last year, Recreation Railways Re-opened Talgarth Station as part of the Talgarth Festival!
Erwood Station opened in 1864 with the opening of the Mid Wales Railway, operated independently before being amalgamated with the Cambrian Railway in 1901.
The locos that were commonly seen on the line were Ivatt class 2MT 2-6-0s, a light but powerful engine. This was due to there being a weight restriction south Llanidloes, only engines 14 Tons or under could traverse the line.
On the 30th of December 1962 the Stevenson Locomotive Society ran the last train on the line. The run was made in Heavy Snow in one of Wales’ worst Winters on record.
The next day the line closed for good, a whole 1 year before the Beeching report that between 1963-1966 closed so many other branch lines across the country.
In 1984 the Station was purchased by Alan and Erika Cunningham. The restoration process then started. In 1988 a Fowler 0-4-0 Diesel Shunter arrived in need of restoration soon followed by a couple of 19th Century 4 wheel coach bodies. To showcase Alans wood-turning skills, a craft centre was opened in the station, and the station is still a craft centre today, although Alan sadly passed away in 2008.
As well as arts and crafts, there is also a tea room, a small ground level signal Box brought from Newbridge on Wye and restored at Erwood in 2004 and the now cosmetically restored Fowler Diesel.