Gwili opens £500k extension to Abergwili after 17 years of hard work by volunteers

THE Gwili Railway’s 1¾-mile extension to Abergwili Junction was formally opened on July 1, marking the culmination of 17 years’ effort by Gwili volunteers.

The first public train over the £500,000 extension was hauled from Bronwydd Arms by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns 0-6-0ST No. 47 Moorbarrow, which broke a ceremonial banner to formally open the new station.

RSH 0-6-0ST No. 47 Moorbarrow approaches the ceremonial banner to officially open the Gwili Railway’s Abergwili extension on July 1. SCOTT ARTUS

The official opening was performed by Sylvia Davies, whose late husband, Geler, had driven the last passenger train from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth on February 22, 1965.

Some 500 visitors, including Coun Alun Lenny, Mayor of Carmarthen, and the Rev Ian Morris, watched as Mrs Davies unveiled a commemorative plaque and declared the station open.

Scott Artus, Gwili Railway’s marketing manager, said the opening of the extension “marks the beginning of a new era for the Gwili Railway”.

He added: “The project has been 17 years in the making and there have been many ups and downs in that time, but the determination and perseverance of everyone concerned is to be truly admired.

“We have plans to continue our work at this site, which includes building a car park and also to extend the line further north to Conwil and Llanpumsaint.”

Extending the line to Conwil would almost double the length of the current 4½-mile running line, with cost predictions in the region of £2million.

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