Teifi Valley is one of the narrow gauge railways that are now known as the Great Little Trains of Wales. These narrow gauge railways have been maintained less as commuter rails and more as tourist attractions and are found in many regions of Wales.
Quite a few of these are also designated as Heritage Railways as they have been around for many, many years and began as extremely important hubs of connectivity in Wales in the early parts of the 19th century. The Teifi Valley Railway was originally started in 1860 and was at that time made up of a larger gauge track known as “Brunel gauge” sized at 7ft 1/4 inch and was the baby of the South Wales Railway.
The original track ran from the town of Camarthen to Cynwyl Elfed before being extended to Pencader and Llandysul. During this expansion however the track was changed to the smaller 4 ft 81/2 inch standard gauge track in order to navigate the twists and turns of the hilly regions it was being used in more efficiently. Unfortunately the railway was unable to make any substantial money and they went belly up in the process of changing tracks.
While other attempts were made to get the railway up and running again when passenger trips were stopped in 1952 and then freight services were cancelled in 1973 the railway was considered obsolete and was closed for good leaving behind nothing but the infrastructure of bridges and terminals and tunnels that made up the line.
Fast forward to 1981 when a group of people who loved the railway bought the line and installed the much easier 2 ft gauge track and opened the railway as a tourist adventure spot. The endeavor was a success for a while but experienced some up and downs over the years and ended up closing at one point only to be rescued once again. Teifi Valley is one of the best places to experience you own narrow gauge adventure.