Sections of London Bridge station’s old roof have found a new home at Aberystwyth.
The roof will be rebuilt as part of the Vale of Rheidol Railway narrow gauge railway museum in the town. Network Rail has saved 16 columns, 14 beams and other elements which can be moved to Wales.
‘The roof offers an opportunity to show the locomotives in context within a train-shed environment and the Vale of Rheidol will work hard to recreate the atmosphere, which only a London terminus can provide,’ says Robert Gambrill from the Vale of Rheidol Railway.
Mr Gambrill went on to praise the team he worked with from Network Rail. ‘It has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team from Network Rail – their care and attention to detail has ensured that as much of the structure that we need has been saved,’ he said.
‘Without their co-operation none of this would have been possible. We all look forward to unlocking the potential of our collection and seeing the Vale of Rheidol becoming a world class tourist attraction for Wales.’
The line climbs 12 miles to Devil’s Bridge and is a masterpiece of engineering. It opened in 1902 to carry lead ore, timber and passenger traffic. The narrow track gauge allows the railway to follow the contours of the terrain with many sharp curves and steep gradients which add to the railway’s charm.
Says Chris Drabble of Network Rail ‘This great news has been possible because many people from many organisations have been working together. Up until the actual structures were lifted we were never sure if any of this would be technically possible, so all of the teams can be really proud of what they have achieved.’
The line attracts around 40,000 visitors annually from all over the world.