5p Vale of Rheidol Railway definitive stamp, issued on 5 July 1972, and depicting a map of the railway route between Aberystwyth and Devil’s Bridge.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
About the Vale of Rheidol Railway
In 1957, the Talyllyn Railway became the first UK railway to issue its own railway letter stamps. Such labels were popular as souvenirs for the railway’s visitors, but also performed a postal function, paying for the carriage of mail via the railway’s own letter delivery service.
Many other heritage railways followed suit with their own issues, including the Vale of Rheidol Railway from 1970, whose services connect Aberystwyth with Devil’s Bridge. This particular railway was unusual in that it was not an independent heritage operation like most others that ran its own railway letter service, but part of British Rail until finally being privatised in 1989. This is why Vale of Rheidol stamps typically featured the famous British Rail double-arrow logo.
The final Vale of Rheidol stamp issue was produced in 1985, and as of 2018, only the Talyllyn Railway, Ffestiniog Railway and Nene Valley Railway are understood to still be running a railway letter service. For details of all Vale of Rheidol issues, see the excellent Philatelic Compendium website.