The ‘North & West Route’, which, in recent years, has become known as the ‘Welsh Marches Line’, extends from Newport to Chester. Historically, this 137-mile route is an amalgam of three distinct railways: the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway, the Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway and the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway. All three lines came under Great Western control at a relatively early date, although the Shrewsbury & Hereford section became a joint undertaking, which was owned by the GWR and the London & North Western Railway companies.The line runs through attractive and sometimes spectacular scenery via Abergavenny, Pontrilas, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Shrewsbury and Ruabon, thereby providing a useful transport link between North and South Wales, while some services run north-eastwards from Shrewsbury to Crewe over a former London & North Western line that forms part of a direct link between South Wales and the Manchester conurbation.
About the Author
Stanley C. Jenkins, who was educated at Witney Grammar School, the University of Lancaster and the University of Leicester, has written over 20 books and some 750 articles on local, transport and regional history. Having worked as an English Language teacher at Oxford Air Training School for several years, he returned to Leicester University to retrain as a museum curator in 1986, and was subsequently employed by English Heritage as the Regional Curator for South Western England. He is Curatorial Advisor to the Witney & District Museum, and is also working as a curator for the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, which is at present building a military museum at Woodstock.Martin Loader has been interested in railways since the late 1960s, but only starting taking photographs seriously with the acquisition of his first 'proper' camera in 1978.