Following a re-appraisal, a new route was drawn up in 1864 (Figure 2). This was shorter - it went through Cwmystwyth and then down to Ysbytty Ystwyth. From there it was to run towards afon Marchnant before descending down to the level of the Teifi. The new track followed a slightly different direction – to the west of the 1860 route from Ysbytty Ystwyth to Alltddu and then re-joining the original planned course.
North of Alltddu the line was to run across Cors Caron to a junction near Ystrad Meurig, off which there was to be a branch from the main line to Aberystwyth. According to J.S.Holden  this new route to Aberystwyth was essential since Devil’s Bridge was no longer on the main line.
It is said locally, that the decision to alter the course of the line between Alltddu and Ysbyty Ystwyth was forced on to the company by a local doctor or surgeon. He was Roland Rowlands and in the census returns for 1851 and 1861 he was recorded as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and married with one daughter and four sons. Around the time when the railway was being built he was about 50 years of age and lived with his wife at No 2 Bridge Street (or Dolybont according to the 1851 census). The story goes that he stubbornly refused to let the railway pass through his land leaving M & M no option other than to re-directing the line across Cors Caron.
This is a nice story – one man holding out and defeating a strong and powerful company. However, it is unlikely to be true. As indicated earlier, all proposed railway routes had to pass through a number of Parliamentary hurdles before being given the Royal Assent ; however, once this was given, the company involved had the power to compulsory purchase land, if necessary.
Secondly, virtually all the land between Tregaron and Pontrhydfendigaid belonged to Lord Lisburne. He had tenants in Maesllyn, Allddu, Dolyrychen, Brynhope right through to Dolfawr and, judging from the tithe maps, it appears that all the fields in and around the village were also part of the Trawscoed estate. There was very little land that did not belong to Lord Lisburne and there was no reference to any fields owned by Roland Rowlands. Even if there had been, it is highly unlikely that they would be so strategically placed as to stop the line from being routed through, or close to the village.
It is reasonable to conclude that Roland Rowlands, as an individual, had very little effect on M & M’s plans in the area. However, this was not true in the case of Lord Lisburne. He had a strong vested interest in the choice of route from Tregaron to Strata Florida. A letter in 1862 from a David . ? . , at the Crosswood Estate Office, Wenallt House to Lord Lisburne’s solicitors in London reads as follows  :
The decision to alter the course of the line between Alltddu
was forced on to the company by a local doctor/surgeon
Or was it?
A ballad was written in 1866 describing the rail-journey from Carmarthen to Strata Florida station - to see this ballad, click the blue button
28th November 1862
The proposed railway from Llanidloes to Pencader – or what is called the Manchester
and Milford Railway – cuts up 4 or 5 of Lord Lisburnes farms to a serious extent
. . . many acres of land about Pontrhydfendigaid that is now let at good rents as
The company are now going to parliament for extension of the line and other matters.
Do you think could there be any chance to get them to alter the line so as to avoid
destroying the lands alluded to.
It would be very much better for the Estate to give the land for a mere nominal sum
were the company to bring their line on the north of the Tivy between Pontrhydfendigaid
and Tregaron instead of the south side as at present intended, and it would be a
better line also but perhaps a little more expensive to make.
On the farms alluded to namely, Maesllyn, Maeselwad, Alltdu, Old Abbey, and Wernfelin.
There is so very little dry corn land and that is the very part the railway destroys
leaving only narrow slips on both sides the railway that these farms in the aggregate
will not be worth as much rent by £100 to £150 a year – no triffling sum.
I wish you would be so good as to communicate with the company’s solicitors on the
Another thing. Lord Lisburne was given to understand – and not only to understand
– but assured that the line was intended to be as I wish and so much was he impressed
that I can scarcely get him to believe that I am earnest as to the side of the Tivy
it is intended to be made and if he can now oppose them he will at all . . .