© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Between Llanfair Caereinion and Talerddig lies some lonely hill country. A river - the Rhiw - rises and flows eastwards to join the Severn near Berriew (Aberriw in Welsh). The Lion Hotel in Berriew is well worth a visit - the excellent Sunday lunch left us with just sufficient energy to drive the three miles up the valley to the Rhiw Valley Light Railway... The 15" gauge line was constructed a good few years ago - I'd been aware of it getting on for 30 years, and had driven past once or twice - but until today, had never paid a visit. It's a private setup, only open to the public once or twice a year, and it was more-or-less by accident that I found the date of this event, while Googling something else. The weather was not our friend today - it was dull and intermittently rainy, but at least that meant we would see the steam. Sure enough, as we pulled into the car park, two columns of smoky steam rose into the grey sky. The source of the steam - 0-6-2T "Powys", built by Severn Lamb in 1973, and "Jack", a fine little 0-4-0 tender locomotive reminiscent of the modern Exmoor locomotives, completed just five years ago (a diesel, "Monty", lurked in the loco shed). Coaching stock consists of four home-built (I'm guessing now) vehicles - two bogie coaches plus a couple of tiny four-wheelers, one of which serves as the brake van, all finished in a clear varnish to reveal the woodwork. The two locos took it in turns to haul trains around the line - a 1¼ mile sausage-shaped circuit in the fields beside the river, with a triangular junction near the eastern end leading into the terminus station. Sometimes they went clockwise, other times anticlockwise. While the train was out on the line, the remaining loco would venture out onto the through line of the triangle, to back on to the train when it returned from the rain-sodden fields... ...yes, it was rather wet. Should have taken wellies, I think - the rain was becoming more persistent, and our feet and trouser bottoms were quite soggy by the time we left. Nevertheless, we'd had a very pleasant visit to the Rhiw Valley - must go again! Link: Rhiw Valley Railway Monty Powys and the loco shed Jack at the terminus Jack departs, wheels slipping a little... Running beside the Rhiw Rhiw Valley train Approaching the triangle Powys's turn Powys in action, running clockwise beside the Rhiw A meet in the fields Steamy Jack Next Train 3.10