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Starting at Llynclys Junction, our line veers to the right and heads under the A483 road bridge, the main road between Oswestry and Welshpool.
While it was not a passenger interchange point, Llynclys Junction formerly marked the point where the old Tanat Valley branch joined with the Cambrian ‘main line’ from Oswestry to Welshpool. Once home to a signalbox, the site also included sidings, sorting the wagonloads of stone from Nantmawr, Blodwell and Porthywaen quarries.
Continuing up the old Tanat Valley branch, the line passes behind the ‘Cross Keys’ pub at Llynclys, with only a field separating it from the A495 road. It crosses a farm occupation crossing before passing behind Dolgoch housing estate and over a footpath, which leads to woodland. The line then passes the site of Nuttree wharf, before going under the road bridge, which forms the access route to Porthywaen quarry and the public road to Sweeney Mountain. The road bridge is notable for it includes two spans, one of which retains standard gauge railway track, while the other forms a walkway for sheep grazing in two adjoining fields. The latter, which is of noticeably smaller size, represents the last complete surviving piece of infrastructure from the long-closed narrow gauge Crickheath Tramway, which once ran to the Montgomery canal at Crickheath, on the Knockin side of Llynclys.
Our line then enters the site of Porthywaen Junction, where railways once ran to the Steetly Quarry and the Whitehaven colliery, off to the right. An attractive signalbox was once located here, but merely served as a covered groundframe.
The line then enters Porthywaen station, the platform of which still survives, before crossing the A495 road.
Passing behind the village hall, home to the well-known silver band, the Lime Kilns pub can be seen opposite, before entering a shallow cutting on a slight curve.
A minor road, better known locally as Porthywaen School Lane, is then crossed, marking the commencement of a straight section of line, occupying the middle of the valley. The A495 road can be seen to the right.
The long-distance Offa’s Dyke footpath is then crossed, before passing behind a fishery and attractive pools. Entering a further long straight section of track, the view to the right is dominated by the side valley, better known locally as Blodwel (sic) Bank, in the direction of the villages of Nantmawr and Trefonen.
Entering a cutting, the line dives under the Blodwell Quarry overbridge, before passing the site of the stone loading apparatus on the left, which had survived until as late as May 2008.
Our line then enters the east end of Blodwell Junction loop, which was opened in 1985 to enable stone trains to run round. A short hop along the right-hand track brings us to what is known as Llanddu Junction, where the branch to Nantmawr commences. The latter is accessed via a reversing manoeuvre.
Continuing up the Tanat valley, the two sets of track form the loop at Blodwell. The track stops at the bridge, which carries the A495 road to Llansantffraid ym Mechain. Beyond the bridge lies the site of Blodwell Junction, marking the point where the former ‘Potts line’ round to Llanymynech diverged to the left (closed 1925, lifted 1938), while the old Tanat Valley railway continued west towards Llanyblodwell village and onwards to Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant and Llangynog. Closed on December 5, 1960, the track to Llanrhaeadr was lifted in 1964-5.
However, the course of the railway is blocked at this point owing to the A495 road bridge being secured with brick strengthening pillars sited on the path of the old railway, as seen in the photograph below.