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Heart of Wales line

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Rab Smith

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Morning. Looking to do a trip along the Heart of Wales line on the 14th of August and looking for some info. Traction, where to sit for the best views, how busy it is etc.
Any gen would be very appreciated!
Thanks
Rab
 
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PHILIPE

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Morning. Looking to do a trip along the Heart of Wales line on the 14th of August and looking for some info. Traction, where to sit for the best views, how busy it is etc.
Any gen would be very appreciated!
Thanks
Rab

This would be just before the schools broke up.. There are long stretches which are not very scenic but I would recommend sitting on the left hand side if travelling in the Swansea direction. Usual traction is a single 153 but could be a 150 on the day
 

Rab Smith

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This would be just before the schools broke up.. There are long stretches which are not very scenic but I would recommend sitting on the left hand side if travelling in the Swansea direction. Usual traction is a single 153 but could be a 150 on the day
Thanks. Would be on the 10.09 from Shrewsbury to Swansea. Is that usually a busy train?
 

Andy Pacer

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Thanks. Would be on the 10.09 from Shrewsbury to Swansea. Is that usually a busy train?
I've used it 2 or 3 times in summer months (pre Covid) and was well loaded off Shrewsbury and then steady on/off through the journey. I've only ever had a 150 on it so was ok for space.
 

Grumpy Git

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There is an amazing difference in the cost of an Advance versus a Standard ticket on that route, £14.50 v £52.50. o_O

Is a 3.6x ratio normal?
 

NorthWestRover

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If you're happy to come back via Cardiff and the Marches route then the one day Heart of Wales Circular Day Ranger is only £41, although I'm guessing you have the Advance Fare.
 

ChrisC

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If you are not worried about doing the whole route there are some very cheap tickets available. A couple of summers ago I did Shrewsbury to Llandeilo which is quite a long journey and covers all the most scenic parts of the line. A Day Return from Shrewsbury to Llandeilo is only £16. It’s a nice town to wander around and get a bit of something to eat before getting the train back about 2 hours later.
 

Andy Pacer

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If you are not worried about doing the whole route there are some very cheap tickets available. A couple of summers ago I did Shrewsbury to Llandeilo which is quite a long journey and covers all the most scenic parts of the line. A Day Return from Shrewsbury to Llandeilo is only £16. It’s a nice town to wander around and get a bit of something to eat before getting the train back about 2 hours later.
Presumably that ticket also permits a break of journey (eg Llandrindod) although that would probably make the day very long!
 

ChrisC

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Presumably that ticket also permits a break of journey (eg Llandrindod) although that would probably make the day very long!
Yes you can break your journey. I would have liked to do that but it then means a 4 hour wait for the next train. Timetable does not really lend itself to visiting more than one place in a day. That’s why I chose Llandeilo. Nice place to spend a couple of hours before return journey and far enough to cover most of the line and not miss the best scenery.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Being slightly biased , I commend the scenery south of Llandrindod , especially the run down the Towy valley - good landmarks are Knighton and Cynghordy viaducts , the iron age fort on the left heading southbound south of Llandovery and the contrast of the old (now defunct) coal mining area south of Llandybie. Note the superb restoration of the 1840 station building at Pantyffynon and the 1892 signalbox (which controls the line - a mechanical "ROC") , plus the estuary views in the Llanelli area , and of course working tinplate works and a good rail traffic sources of tinplate traffics in that area.

Not forgetting of course the Sugar Loaf tunnel where it is downhill to the sea. Do not forge the train reverses enroute.

Enjoy - but take refreshments .....
 

Djgr

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Thanks. Would be on the 10.09 from Shrewsbury to Swansea. Is that usually a busy train?
It was quiet when I did this around two months ago.

There was a bit of a stop at Llandrindod, where passengers were encouraged to pick up some refreshments (from the local Aldi?).
 

Rab Smith

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Thanks again for all the info. Turns out my B&B can't accommodate me that day so I'll probably give it a miss. I was also getting a bit concerned about the amount of staff who could be Covid isolating because of the current farce by the test and trace debacle. It's not the area to be stranded without a train!
 

Andy Pacer

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Thanks again for all the info. Turns out my B&B can't accommodate me that day so I'll probably give it a miss. I was also getting a bit concerned about the amount of staff who could be Covid isolating because of the current farce by the test and trace debacle. It's not the area to be stranded without a train!
Has the line suffered many cancellations due to lack of train crew of late?
 

Rab Smith

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Cardiff
Hello, just in case anyone is interested, I didn't manage the HOW line due to other factors but did manage an afternoon Welshpool to Aberystwyth and back. The train wasn't too loaded and everyone I seen was wearing a face covering. A very enjoyable journey out to the coast and back. At around the same time the latest Covid briefing had announced that wearing face coverings would soon be voluntary in England. Thank goodness the Welsh Government and TFW has subsequently announced that this will not be the case in Wales.
I can see a bit of confusion arising from cross Border travel arising.
I'm now back in Scotland to hide away from this emerging madness on Monday.
Good luck England!
 
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