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Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway

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The Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway was a project, backed by the North Staffordshire Railway, aimed to build a line from Market Drayton, Shropshire, England to Porthmadog, Wales. Only part, from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech, was completed in 1866 and this became the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway.

Part of the line, from Blodwel to Nantmawr, survived for many years as something of a forgotten part of the national network. Having been acquired by the Oswestry-based Cambrian Railway Society during 2004, efforts are now under way to re-open the line as a heritage railway.

On 29 July 1862, a railway, the West Shropshire Mineral Railway, was authorised, which was a planned 13.75 mile line from Westbury (on the Shrewsbury to Welshpool line) to Llanymynech, but it was not constructed. Subsequently, another plan was laid out that would carry not only minerals, but passengers too, this was the Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway. The proposed extent of the railway was from Redhill, where it would join the Shrewsbury to Welshpool line, to Llanymynech. There would be branches between Llanymynech to Llanyblodwel and from Kinnerley to Criggion.

In 1865, a new venture began that was backed by the North Staffordshire Railway, that would link Market Drayton with Shrewsbury, and in 1866 this new venture, the Shrewsbury and Potteries Junction Railway was combined with the Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway. This amalgamation resulted in the formation of the Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway in August of that year, however by December, services on the railway had to stop due to financial difficulty. There was no service on the railway until 1868.

In 1871, and subsequently in 1872, the two branches of the railway to Criggion and Llanyblodwel, respectively, were opened. Following this further financial difficulties followed, and in 1877, a receiver was appointed. Three years later, the railway was closed, and in 1881 the Llanyblodwel branch was leased to Cambrian Railways. In 1888, an unsuccessful attempt at reopening the railway was made by the Shropshire Railways Company, but in 1907 the railway reopened as The Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Light Railway.

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