The Shropshire & Montgomery Light Railway

The Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway

Many people still remember the “Potts” railway in its 20th century reincarnation as the Shropshire & Montgomery; but there can be few, if any, who can recall its earlier existence as the “Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway: North Wales Section”. A splendid title, especially since it never reached either the Potteries or North Wales.Kinnerley Station – 2shrop.net

The railway first opened its main line from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech in August 1866, at which time the branches from Llanymynech to Llanyblodwel and from Kinnerley to Breidden were opened for goods traffic only.

At the time there were ambitions to making the railway the through route to the Welsh coast, and much of the line was double track.

But within four months the bailiffs had been brought in. For three weeks they stayed with the trains, travelling on them and sleeping on board overnight, until all traffic ceased on December 21.

The railway re-opened two years later, having sold much of its stock and reduced its main line to a single track. Amazingly, it managed to make a small profit for a couple of years, but by 1875 the losses were mounting up again and much of the track was in desperate need of repair.

Llanymynech station yard
Llanymynech station yard where the Shropshire & Montgomery railway joined the GWR /Cambrian line from Oswestry to Welshpool.
The cat is obvious, can you find the rabbit ?
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Colin Lea and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway was a railway running from Shrewsbury, England to Llanymynech, Wales. It opened in 1911, taking over most of the former Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway from the Shropshire Railways Company, and was one of the Colonel Stephens Railways. It was taken over by the War Department in 1941 and was closed in 1960.Pic – shrewsburyrht.org.uk

The terminus of the line was not at Shrewsbury Railway Station but at Shrewsbury Abbey station. This was because the joint operators, Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) refused to let the smaller company have access to mainline services. After the railway closed Shrewsbury Abbey became an oil depot. The site finally closed in 1988. A new road in the area has been named “Old Potts Way” as a reminder of what was known as the Potts Railway.

It is less well known — if it is known at all — that just 100 years ago the old “Potts” railway suffered two collisions in Shrewsbury.

Happily neither was of colossal proportions, but they give a clear picture of the way the “Potts” was run at that time.

 

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One response to “The Shropshire & Montgomery Light Railway

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Shropshire & Montgomery Light Railway « Chasewater Stuff's Railway Blog -- Topsy.com

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