The Vale of Rheidol (VoR) Railway has finished construction of its new Museum collection and heritage rolling stock protection shed at its Aberystwyth terminus.
The £531,000 structure can accommodate the equivalent of 36 VoR bogie carriages on its three roads in secure covered accommodation.
Two full length roads, each long enough to accommodate 12 carriages, will house VoR’s two standard seven-carriage service rakes when not in use with additional capacity for further stock storage.
The third road incorporates a ‘building within the building’, partitioned from the main element of the shed with an electric sectional door. The equivalent of 10 bogie carriages in length, this storage area has been constructed to house historically important locomotives and stock in a heated and ventilated temperature-controlled environment.
The centre road of the building incorporates a pit near the entrance doors to enable maintenance of carriage bogies and a section of reinforced flooring to accommodate lifting jacks.
A 45kW solar panel array on the south facing side of the roof provides power for the air source heating system and lighting within the new building. It will also provide electricity for the station building and shop, the multi-function display and entertainment facility to be developed within the ex-GWR loco shed and feed power back into the national grid. In conjunction with the solar panels already on the roof of the ex-GWR loco shed which provide power for the works and running shed the entire Vale of Rheidol station at Aberystwyth becomes electrically self-sufficient.
The pedestrian path beside the southern wall of the building to directly link Vale of Rheidol Railway’s station with the national network station has also been reinstated, although cannot be brought into use until VoR’s new station building comes into use.
Construction of the new building commenced in the latter part of 2019 and was on-target for completion in April 2020 but, inevitably, became delayed as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world.
With the building now complete the track connections to the station and ex-GWR loco shed will be laid during November and stock moved inside.
VoR general manager and chief engineer Llyr ap Iolo commented: “This is a massive asset which will provide indoor cover along with maintenance facilities for the carriage fleet and historic rolling stock.
“A massive thank you must go to our contractors who carried on through what has been a really tricky time. It is a credit to them that the project remained on track and budget,” commented Vale of Rheidol Railway Chairman, Robert Gambrill. “The whole team responsible for the visit Wales TAD projects have been invaluable in seeing the project through to completion of the second phase. Protection of our historic assets is vital to their long-term survival. The new store will, for the first time, enable us to keep everything protected in dry and weatherproof conditions. Seeing the former Great Western Engine Shed revived and given a new life is the next exciting phase of our plans,” he added.
All images credit CLIFF THOMAS/VALE OF RHEIDOL RAILWAY.