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Latitude: 52.5155 / 52°30'55"N
Longitude: -3.4333 / 3°25'59"W
OS Eastings: 302835
OS Northings: 291812
OS Grid: SO028918
Mapcode National: GBR 9M.GPC5
Mapcode Global: VH687.F1TF
Entry Name: Engine Shed to the Van Line
Listing Date: 5 November 1996
Last Amended: 5 November 1996
Source ID: 17549
Building Class: Transport
Location: The building, now used as a store, is located in the industrial yard, some 80m W of the present railway crossing, and in the angle of the main Cambrian line and the former Van branch line.
Community: Caersws (Caersŵs)
Built-Up Area: Caersws
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
The line was constructed by the Van Railway Co. in standard gauge in 1871 to service the Van lead and barytes mines at Van, near Llanidloes, providing an outlet for the ore to the main Newtown to Machynlleth Railway (1862). It was 6m 46p chains long, and took passengers from 1873. After some difficulties the line was reopened for freight by the Cambrian Railways in 1896, but was finally closed in 1940, the track removed in 1941, and the ballast, much valued for its toxic weed-killing properties, partially removed. The mines, the most productive leadworks in Britain, finally closed in October 1920. The general manager and superintendent of the Van line from 1872 - 1887 was John 'Ceriog' Hughes, the lyric poet, who wrote the 'Oriau' series of poems [Oriau'r Haf (1870); Oriau Olaf (1888) etc.] and various still well known songs, including 'Dafydd y Garreg Wên', and who contributed to 'Cymru fu', and who also wrote some satirical prose.
The engine shed, which housed the line's original Manning-Wardle 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotives Nos 374 and 668, and later the similar engine 'Alyn' Cambrian No. 824 of 1864, is of yellow brick, laid in English bond, and has a slate roof with a louvred smoke box. The original off-centre locomotive openings straddling the line have timber lintels, but have been largely blocked. Sixteen paned cast iron windows with moulded rose-pattern bosses at the intersections and stone sills, have two half-brick segmental heads. Pair of double side doors now replaced. One lateral brick stack. Immediately E, a small red brick station building, now much altered, stands on the original platform.
Included as the only survival from the original structures of this once economically important line and a well-preserved example of an engine shed.
Other nearby listed buildings