Adrian Semmence and Mark Hignett on one of the largest monorail engines
in the collection...
Although the Tanat Valley Light Railway near Nant Mawr has been closed because of lockdown, volunteers have still been able to use their daily exercise to work on the site.
With not one but five attractions, those behind the heritage railway charity have plans to develop it as a major tourist attraction.
Volunteer Mark Hignett
They recently launched a fundraising appeal for £40,000 so that they can apply for a Transport and Works Act Order to allow it to take paying passengers on the old rail line.
Adrian Semmence from the railway said that the site was two miles of original railway track at the very end of the Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway, nicknamed the Potts Line, running from the Visitor Centre to join the Tanat Valley Railway at Llanddu.
He said, "The first Potts line opened on 13 August 1866 from Shrewsbury and while the branch to Criggion was opened in 1871, a second branch was added between Llanymynech and Nant Mawr the following year. This branch, which crossed the Cambrian Railway’s tracks at Llanymynech, allowed the Potts Line to take on extra freight – limestone from Nant Mawr. The valley of the River Tanat holds a rich industrial history. Its lead mines in their day were among the greatest in Britain and slate, granite and limestone were quarried in vast quantities."
Mark Hignett and Adrian Semmence on the station platform
In addition to the railway line, the site includes kilns which are claimed to be the tallest lime kilns in England, a unique industrial monorail collection, carriages from the closed Coventry Electric Railway Museum and an award-winning environmentally significant open area.
Adrian Semmence and Mark Hignett walk along the newly cleared track.
"Our plans to develop our location as a major tourist destination include applying for a Transport and Works Act Order to allow the running of the full length of our line to Llanddu," Mr Semmence said. "The additional income from increased visitor numbers will allow us to maintain and further develop our facilities, particularly the lime kilns and monorail."
To support the appeal, donations can be made through Paypal via tanatvalleyrailway.co.uk/twao/index or by bank transfer to Lloyds sort code : 30-92-69, account no : 35484660.