Wales

Old Cardi Bach railway line could open as footpath

Part of the Cardi Bach route
Image caption The Cardi Bach route takes in countryside of Carmarthenshire

Walkers could soon be able to retrace the route of steam trains if plans to reopen part of a railway line as a footpath are given the go-ahead.

The Cardi Bach railway line wound its way through the valleys of west Wales, between Whitland and Cardigan, until it closed more than 50 years ago.

An application has now been submitted to Carmarthenshire council to create a public right of way between the villages of Login and Llanglydwen.

It is hoped it will attract tourists.

Image caption The railway line wound its way between Whitland and Cardigan

Llanglydwen resident Eurfyl Lewis said sites like the ancient Neolithic cromlech, Gwâl y Filiast, which is near the old track's route, would be a draw for visitors.

"These days, there is so much emphasis on keeping fit, and even though we live in a rural area, there's a lot of traffic on the road. Opening this path up will be ideal," he said.

"A lot of people visit the Pentre Ifan cromlech down in Newport, but Gwâl y Filiast, to this day, is a hidden gem, but we want to open that up."

Image caption The Cardi Bach railway line closed to passengers in September 1962

The Cardi Bach railway was originally built mainly for the transportation of goods, but its popularity grew as a passenger line until it closed in September 1962.

A consultation period is currently being held by Carmarthenshire council until 4 February, with people urged to give their views about the plan.

A recent report by the local authority indicated that a local landowner was objecting to the plan. BBC Wales has approached the local landowner for comment.

Image caption Gwâl y Filiast would be a draw for walkers along the planned route

If there are objections, it is likely that the final decision will have to be made by a planning inspector.

Supporters of the plan said they must demonstrate that the old railway track was used as footpath for at least 20 years by local people.

Local councillor Dorian Phillips has said the long-term aspiration for Carmarthenshire council is to reopen the whole line as a footpath from Cardigan to Whitland.

Part of the line is already open as a footpath and cycle route at the Cardigan end, passing through the Teifi Marshes nature reserve.

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