It was good to read that the Cambrian Coast Railway has been named in the world’s top 10 epic train journeys. How appropriate as, in October 2017, it will celebrate 150 years of service to Welsh coastal communities. Let us hope every effort will be made to commemorate this milestone in the rich history of the line.
In particular I would like to highlight the following people and organisations who deserve to be recognised for their contributions to keeping the line going.
Firstly, Thomas Savin, Benjamin Piercy, Henry Conybeare and all their staff who built this amazing railway in 1867. No JCBs or computer-aided design in those days.
Secondly, John Rogers and the members of the Cambrian Coast Line Action Group, without whose efforts the line would not be here today.
Thirdly, the Talyllyn Railways whose members fought the closure. Particular recognition to two late members: John Slater their former editor, who as editor of the Railway Magazine always promoted the coast line, and Reginald Dawson, a government civil servant, who fought the closure proposal from the inside.
Lastly, the Cambrian News. Had your paper not given such coverage of the efforts to save the line then I really believe it would not have survived.
The line is not yet completely safe. No excursion trains run along the line and yet two Class 37 diesel locomotives have been specially fitted with the necessary equipment to run such trains. Many charter operators wish to run their trains into the Welsh coast as in the days of yore. Remember the 1970s when British Rail sometimes ran four excursions on Sundays.
The line cannot have a long-term future if the only traffic allowed is the service trains, so every effort has got to be made to restore the line to its former glory and operate it to its fullest extent.
Chris Magner, Dunval Road, Bridgnorth.
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