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  1. #1
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    Default Railway travel in the 1840s and 1850s

    My great great grandmother was born and raised in Suffolk. In 1849 she married a schoolmaster in Pontypool, Monmouthshire. I'm not sure yet why/how etc. they got together and why they married in Pontypool but am working on it! The schoolmaster died fairly soon after the marriage and his widow returned to Suffolk.

    Suffolk to Monmouthshire is a long way and I wonder what sort of railway journey it would have been. How difficult, what route, how long etc. Of course, she may have gone by 'road' which would have been even more tortuous.

    Any information on the possibilities etc. will be welcome. Thank you.

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    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Just for clarication, Martha and Robert marrried in Abersychan which may be part of Pontypool today, but back in those days was a separate place.

    Using a search engine I was told that a railway line was begun in 1845 to connect Pontypool to Newport, and the line opened in 1852, so it looks as if Martha either had a very bumpy ride on the roads or else went by canal.

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    So, an even more tortuous journey back and forth than I imagined. Thank you.

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    Super Moderator Ladkyis's Avatar
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    It's less than 12 miles from Abersychan to Newport so she would probably have walked it in about 6 hours given the state of the tracks between them.
    There were also carriers - people with a horse and cart who carried stuff for local people back and forth. If someone was going to the market in Newport they could have given a lift for a penny or two.
    The Severn Tunnel wasn't begun until 1873 and finally opened in 1886 so any rail journey would have to go through Chepstow and Gloucester unless they got off in Chepstow and went on the Beachley/Aust ferry and then to Bristol.
    Ladkyis

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