Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line


Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line
[v · Legend
Aberystwyth
Unknown BSicon "uKBFa" Head station Continuation backward
Cambrian Line to
Urban straight track Unknown BSicon "xABZlf" Track turning right
Machynlleth and Shrewsbury
Waterway turning to left Unknown BSicon "xmKRZu" Unknown BSicon "uCONTl"
Vale of Rheidol Railway
Unknown BSicon "exSTRrg" Unknown BSicon "exSTRrf"
(Narrow Gauge)
Llanrhystyd Road
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exCONTg"
Mid Wales line to Shrewsbury
Llanilar
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exSTR"
and eventually Manchester
Felindyffrin
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Llanidloes
Trawsgoed
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exABZlf" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Mid Wales line to Builth
Caradog Falls Halt
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exENDEe"
Llangurig branch line
Unknown BSicon "exSTR" Unknown BSicon "extCONTg"
(never saw use)
Unknown BSicon "exSTR" Unknown BSicon "extCONTf"
unbuilt connection (15 miles)
Unknown BSicon "exSTRlf" Unknown BSicon "exSTRq" Unknown BSicon "exSTRlg"
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Strata Florida (Ystrad Fflur)
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Alltddu Halt
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Tregaron
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Port Llanio
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Olmarch Halt
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Llangybi
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Derry Ormond
Aberayron branch
Unknown BSicon "exKHSTl" Unknown BSicon "extSTRq" Unknown BSicon "exABZlg"
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Lampeter
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Llanybydder
Newcastle Emlyn
Unknown BSicon "exKHSTa" Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Maesycrugiau
Teifi Valley Railway
Unknown BSicon "KHSTxa" Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Bryn Teifi
Hellan
Unknown BSicon "KHSTxe" Unknown BSicon "exSTR"
Pentrecourt platform
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exSTR"
Llandyssil
Unknown BSicon "exHST" Unknown BSicon "exSTR"
Teifi Valley route
Unknown BSicon "exSTRlf" Unknown BSicon "exABZlr" Unknown BSicon "exSTRrf"
diverges west
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Pencader
Unknown BSicon "exTUNNEL1"
Pencader Tunnel (985 yards)
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Llanpumsaint
Cynwyl
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
Danycoed Halt
Unknown BSicon "KHSTxa"
Llwyfan Cerrig
Stop on track
Gwili Railway
Bronwydd Arms
Unknown BSicon "KHSTxe"
Unknown BSicon "exABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Route to Heart of Wales Line
Unknown BSicon "KBHFxa"
Carmarthen
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "ABZqlr" Continuation to right
West Wales Line

The Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line was a 4 ft 8½-in (1,435-mm) standard-gauge branch line of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in Wales, connecting Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.

At Carmarthen, the line connected with the GWR mainline from London Paddington to Fishguard. At Aberystwyth, the line connected with the Cambrian Line. The line also had connecting branches to Aberaeron, Llandeilo and Newcastle Emlyn.

As a result of floods and the Beeching Axe, the line was entirely closed to passengers from 1965. Freight transport from Pont Llanio creamery (near Tregaron) to Aberaeron Junction (near Lampeter) ended in 1970; that from Aberaeron and the Newcastle Emlyn branch to Carmarthen ended in September 1973.

Contents

History

Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway

The first section of line between Carmarthen and Conwil was opened in 1860 by the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway. This ran from Carmarthen to Newcastle Emlyn, never reaching Cardigan. The line was built as a broad-gauge route, with a third standard-gauge line added later, after the M&MR line was built.

Manchester and Milford Railway scheme

The M&MR was an ambitious proposal to connect Manchester and the industrialised Midlands and Northwest England with the docks at Milford Haven. This was a standard gauge line using the LNWR and Midland Railway metals (the M&MR would have connected with the Mid Wales Railway at Llanidloes) and then, via a junction at Strata Florida, with the C&CR at Pencader. Trains would then have run on the C&CR to Carmarthen before connecting to the Pembroke and Tenby Railway for connection to the deepwater port at Milford Haven. The plan was that, combined with industrial traffic from South Wales, Milford Haven could "provide the Lancashire cotton industry with [an] alternative port to Liverpool."[1][2]

The Llangurig branch line as built

The scheme ran into financial difficulties. The simplest section had been constructed first which meant that it faced undertaking the toughest engineering challenge - the line between Llanidloes and Strata Florida - when the money was running out. Though it started on the line from Llanidloes, diverging from the Mid Wales line at Penpontbren Junction, and got as far as Llangurig, it was decided, in 1865, instead to simply divert the Lampeter route to Aberystwyth rather than build it through the mountains, abandoning the hope for a strategic route. It has been suggested that the bankruptcy of Thomas Savin, renowned Welsh railway engineer and investor, in the 1860s, may have been partly involved as it was with the failure of several other Welsh railway projects.[3] It opened this modified through line in 1867 and remained independent until taken over by the Great Western Railway by 1911.

The initial 1861 route survey (which had parliamentary approval) and a later 1864 route were locally controversial.[2] The unbuilt section between Strata Florida and the railhead of the Llangurig branch would have been through very mountainous terrain, although only 15 miles (24 km) in length as the crow flies.

Closure

The line closed in two stages - the northern section closed prematurely in December 1964 when a section of the line one mile east of Llanilar was damaged by floods from the adjacent River Ystwyth. The remaining southern section closed to passengers in February 1965. Goods traffic continued from Carmarthen to Pont Llanio (just south of Tregaron) and the Felin Fach creamery (on the Aberaeron branch line) using Class 35 Hymek haulage until 1970 and with Class 37 haulage until 1973. The line was closed and decommissioned during the summer of 1975.

Current status

In 1974, the Gwili Railway was founded and, in 1978, began operating a service over several miles of the line from Bronwydd Arms, north of Carmarthen. The company intends to restore services between Abergwili Junction and Llanpumsaint.[4]

In the north, parts of the trackbed from Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed, plus Ystrad Meurig via the Strata Florida station site to just south of the former Allt-ddu halt on Tregaron Bog (adjacent to the B4343 road) have been incorporated into the Ystwyth Trail cycle route. However, the section of trackbed from Trawsgoed station to just south of Ystrad Meurig including the tunnel adjacent to the former Caradog Falls halt is unavailable, being mostly in private ownership. On the Ystwyth Trail eastward from Llanilar to Trawsgoed, the flooding damage which caused closure of the line in December 1964 can be seen.

During the mid-1990s, a narrow-gauge railway was unsuccessfully proposed by the Ystwyth Valley Preservation Society—based on reopening a section of route from Llanilar to Llanfarian. Some items of standard-gauge rolling stock were moved into Llanilar station yard at the time - including an LNER compartment coach plus some 4-wheel tank wagons.

Quantities of trackbed and bridge abutments remain along the route, although some parts have been farmed over. Other surviving remains include, from north to south:

  • Llanrhystyd Road (TBA)
  • Llanilar station platforms - with remains of GWR fencing
  • Felindyffrin (TBA)
  • Trawsgoed station, in a ruined state
  • Caradog Falls Halt, intact but surrounded by private property
  • Strata Florida signal box, under restoration by enthusiasts
  • Alltddu Halt
  • Tregaron station shelter, adjacent to Tregaron hospital, is now a viewing shelter for the Tregaron Horse Club; also, a GWR pagoda shelter remains on a farm near Tregaron High School
  • Pont Llanio: A GWR 1930s cast-iron water-tower is located next to the road bridge and the site of a former creamery
  • Olmarch: Parts of the GWR halt platform remain under a minor road bridge east of the A485 road
  • Llangybi: (TBA)
  • Derry Ormond station building and platforms remain at the end of a narrow road from the village of Betws Bledrws—one of only two station buildings surviving on the line
  • Lampeter goods shed—the only surviving railway related building in Lampeter. A large concrete bridge across the River Teifi remains, adjacent to the A482 road south of Lampeter
  • Llanybydder (TBA)
  • Maesycrugiau (TBA)
  • Bryn Teifi (TBA)
  • Pencader: A steel overbridge remains over the road between Pencader and Llandysul
  • Pencader Tunnel - The southern portal remains accessible from a forestry plantation road which joins a minor road between Pencader and Llanpumpsaint.
  • Llanpumpsaint: An overbridge remains over the road through the village.
  • Cynwyl Elfed station platforms and some rolling stock are owned by the Gwili Railway

Stations

Named from north to south, unless otherwise stated[5]:

Bryn Teifi station in 1962

Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway

Manchester and Milford Railway

  • Aberystwyth - owned by the Cambrian Railway, junction with Vale of Rheidol Railway, still open
  • Llanrhystyd Road
  • Llanilar
  • Trawsgoed
  • Strata Florida Location of proposed triangle for northern route to Llangurig
  • Alltddu Later site of a small GWR halt
  • Tregaron
  • Pont Llanio Site of the now closed Milk Creamery that would keep the line open north of Lampeter until 1970 - located near to village of Llanddewi-Brefi
  • Olmarch Later site of a small GWR halt
  • Llangybi Small halt located between 2 road bridges
  • Derry Ormond Near to village of Betws Bledrws
  • Lampeter Junction station for the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway.
  • Llanybydder
  • Maesycrugiau
  • Bryn Teifi
  • Pencader - junction with Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway

Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway

Constructed[6]

  • Aberaeron
  • Llanerch Aeron Halt: Location of junction of proposed branch to New Quay
  • Crossways Halt
  • Ciliau Aeron Halt
  • Felinfach (near Ystrad Aeron): Later site of the Green Grove creamery that would keep the line open for freight only until 1973. The station building has been moved to Llwynfan Cerrig, Gwili Railway
  • Talsarn Halt
  • Blaenplwyf Halt: Summit of the line
  • Silian Halt
  • Lampeter

Proposed

  • Aberaeron Junction
  • Oakford: Proposed intermediate station
  • Llanarth: Summit of the proposed line
  • Gilfachreda: Proposed Intermediate Station
  • New Quay: Terminus of the proposed line

See also

  • List of never used railways

References

  1. ^ (Context of) Thomas Edward Owen (Manchester and Milford Railway) Papers at Archives Wales, National Library of Wales
  2. ^ a b Pontrhydfendigaid An archival site about the subject district
  3. ^ Railways that never were Discussion at Google Group UK Railway, January 2007
  4. ^ Gwili Steam Railway: History at Gwili Steam Railway Company (a community-supported commercial enterprise)
  5. ^ Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway at Railscot, railbrit.co.uk
  6. ^ Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway at Railscot, railbrit.co.uk

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aberystwyth railway station — Infobox UK station name = Aberystwyth other name= code = AYW caption = Vale of Rheidol Railway s Aberystwyth station is accommodated within the former Carmarthen bay. manager = Arriva Trains Wales locale = Aberystwyth borough = Ceredigion… …   Wikipedia

  • Carmarthen railway station — Infobox UK station name=Carmarthen caption = 71000 Duke of Gloucester at Carmarthen station, 26 May 2007 caption=71000 Duke of Gloucester at Carmarthen station, 26 May 2007 other name=Caerfyrddin code=CMN manager=Arriva Trains Wales… …   Wikipedia

  • Aberystwyth — Infobox UK place country = Wales welsh name = constituency welsh assembly = Ceredigion official name = Aberystwyth latitude = 52.42 longitude = 4.07 unitary wales = Ceredigion lieutenancy wales = Dyfed constituency westminster = Ceredigion… …   Wikipedia

  • Carmarthen — Not to be confused with Caernarfon or Cwmafan. Coordinates: 51°51′22″N 4°18′58″W / 51.856°N 4.316°W / 5 …   Wikipedia

  • Cambrian Line — The Cambrian Line is a railway from Shrewsbury (in Shropshire, England) to Welshpool, Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. The railway runs first through the central part of Wales and then along the coast of Cardigan Bay. The railway is scenic, with parts… …   Wikipedia

  • West Wales Line — The West Wales Line is a railway line from Swansea through Carmarthenshire to Pembrokeshire, West Wales. It has three branches, to Fishguard, Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock. Before the rail cuts of the 1960s, the route was more extensive, with… …   Wikipedia

  • Ruabon to Barmouth Line — [v · d · …   Wikipedia

  • Conwy Valley Line — Overview Type Heavy Rail Locale Conwy Gwynedd …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh Marches Line — The Welsh Marches Line is the railway line from Newport to Shrewsbury via Abergavenny, Hereford, Craven Arms, and then, either to Crewe and Manchester via Whitchurch or alternately via the Shrewsbury and Chester Line to Wrexham and Chester with… …   Wikipedia

  • Shrewsbury to Chester Line — The Shrewsbury to Chester Line, also known as the Severn Dee Line (after the rivers on which Shrewsbury and Chester stand), was built in 1846 as the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway. The engineer for the line was a Mr Robertson while the contractor …   Wikipedia