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Cambrian Heritage Railways


RCD’s Overview

A comparative new-comer in terms of operating trains, this is the only standard gauge heritage railway to represent Cambrian Railways, itself a very good reason to visit. It is based in Oswestry, the former headquarters of Cambrian Railways which once extended over 230 miles, mostly in Wales. The Cambrian aspects extend to a museum and the impressive Oswestry Station, a landmark in itself. The heritage railway has two sections of railway that it operates, and although short at present there is scope and intent to extend. The railway operates small industrial steam locomotives, heritage diesel multiple units and Pacer units. 

The support group operates directly via membership of the Railway.


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Oswestry to Weston Wharf (also section at Llynclys South)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Oswestry Station (SY11 1RE) (and Llynclys South)

Period of Operation*

- April (Selected Weekends)

- May (Sundays and selected weekdays)

- June (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

- July and August: (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and also Friday evening Pacer service)

- September: (Weekends and two selected weekdays)

- December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Diesel with occasional steam

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Pacer unit/ Electro-diesel locomotive/ tank steam locomotive

Length of Line:

1.75 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

40 minutes

Number of trains per day:

Up to 6 in each direction

Number of Stations:

4 stations


Adult Rover £8. Senior Rover: £7. Child Rover: £5. Family: £20

Time to allow for Visit:

2 hours


Cambrian Railways Museum at Oswestry Station



Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Oswestry


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- Santa Specials: Late November and December 

Principal Galas:

- None currently advertised 


- Drive A Train Experience




Telephone:                                                           01691 728131


Social Media:                                              

                                                                              Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ Flickr


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

At its height, Cambrian Railways owned around 230 miles of railway, primarily in Wales. Much of its importance lay in its connections with the London & North Western Railway (to the North West) and the Great Western Railway (to Birmingham and London). Cambrian Railways amalgamated with the GWR on 1 January 1922, just prior to the main 1923 railway grouping. Large sections of its main line remain open to this day, in particular the line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and to Pwllheli via Barmouth. The section west of Welshpool into England took two routes, a northerly route to Oswestry and Gobowen (with connections to Chester and Crewe), and an easterly route, by way of another railway company, to Shrewsbury with connections via the GWR network. The Beeching Report recommended the closure of the entire network, however the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli sections were reprieved. The Welshpool - Shrewsbury section was preferred to the Welshpool - Oswestry section, the latter closing in January 1965, save for the 3-mile Oswestry - Gobowen stub which closed to passengers in November 1966. The line from Gobowen through Oswestry to a quarry at Blodwel was however retained for freight trains until 1988 when the line was closed and abandoned, but track was initially left in place. Many attempts at preservation followed, including the Cambrian Railways Society, the Cambrian Railways Trust, and the Oswestry Station Building Trust. An amalgamation between two of these was approved in 2009 to form a new trust company, Cambrian Heritage Railways, which continues the preservation efforts to this day.


Principal Aspiration

To extend its line north to Gobowen and south from Weston Wharf to Llynclys South and Blodwell


Steam Operational Locomotives:

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 - ‘Henry Ellison’ no. 2217 (on hire in)


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 73 - ‘City of Winchester’

(2) English Electric shunter - D1230 ‘Kimberly’

(3) Ruston 165DE shunter - 11517 ‘Alun Evans’

(4) Pacer DMU Class 144 - Units 144006 and 144007


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) Peckett 0-4-0 - ‘Oliver Veltom’ No. 2131

(2) Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 – 2261 ‘Fife Flyer’


Diesel Locomotives/DMU Under Overhaul:

Heritage DMU Class 101 - 51187


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0 - ‘Norma’ no. 3770

- Peckett - No 1430 - ‘Adam’

- Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 - No.885



Name of Support Group:

Cambrian Heritage Railways

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £18. Senior: £15 Junior £9. Family £45


Benefits of membership:                                Supporting the railway financially and by volunteering


How to Join:                                                    Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

The Cambrian Heritage Railway is run by a team of dedicated volunteers who are working to preserve and protect the heritage infrastructure of the railway and its associated buildings. To say that this is a big task is an understatement, and we are always in need of dedicated people to help us grow the railway further and right the wrong which was the closure of this superb line. If you can spare just a few hours a month, we can’t wait to welcome you. Your time and effort mean a great deal to us, and the success of this railway.


How to Volunteer:                                       Go to


How to Donate:                                           Go to


WHY JOIN: Help the railway extend its line to Gobowen and Blodwell.



Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Welsh Railways Research Circle

- Shropshire Railway Society


Model Railway Clubs:

- Association of Shrewsbury Railway Modellers

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