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Encyclopedia > Vale of Neath Railway
Vale of Neath Railway
Locale Wales
Dates of operation 1851 – 1865
Successor line Great Western Railway
Track gauge 7 ft 0¼ in
Length 44 miles
Headquarters =Aberdare

The Vale of Neath Railway was a broad gauge railway line from Neath to Merthyr Tydfil, in Glamorgan, Wales, and also operated the Swansea and Neath Railway which gave it access to the docks at Swansea. It was opened on 24 September 1851 and amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1865. Motto: (Welsh for Wales forever) Anthem: (Welsh for Land of My Fathers) Capital Cardiff (Caerdydd) Largest city Cardiff (Caerdydd) Official language(s) Welsh, English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056... The original Bristol Temple Meads station, first terminus of the GWR, is the building to the left of this picture The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company, linking South West England, the West Country and South Wales with London. ... Rail gauge is the distance between two rails of a railroad. ... Aberdare (Welsh: ) is an industrial town in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff in the traditional county of Glamorgan, in south Wales, situated (as the name implies) at the confluence of the Dar and Cynon rivers. ... Great Western Railway broad gauge steam locomotives awaiting scrapping in 1892 after the conversion to standard gauge. ... Neath (Welsh: Castell-Nedd) is a town and community with a population of approximately 45,898, located on the river of the same name (Welsh: Afon Nedd) in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales. ... Merthyr Tydfil (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) is a town and county borough in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales, with a population of about 55,000. ... Glamorgan or Glamorganshire (Welsh: ) is one of thirteen historic counties and former administrative counties of Wales. ... Motto: (Welsh for Wales forever) Anthem: (Welsh for Land of My Fathers) Capital Cardiff (Caerdydd) Largest city Cardiff (Caerdydd) Official language(s) Welsh, English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056... Swansea (Welsh: , mouth of the Tawe) is a city in Wales and a Welsh County. ... September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Consolidation is the act of merging many things into one. ... The original Bristol Temple Meads station, first terminus of the GWR, is the building to the left of this picture The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company, linking South West England, the West Country and South Wales with London. ... February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ...

Contents

Chronology

  • 1846 Vale of Neath Railway authorised by Act of Parliament
  • 1851 Opened from Neath to Aberdare
  • 1853 Main line completed to Merthyr Tydfil
  • 1854 Dare Valley branch
  • 1857 Aberdare Valley Railway opened
  • 1862 Acquired the railways of the Swansea Harbour Trustees
  • 1863 Swansea and Neath Railway opened
  • 1865 Amalgamated with Great Western Railway

In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ... Aberdare (Welsh: ) is an industrial town in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff in the traditional county of Glamorgan, in south Wales, situated (as the name implies) at the confluence of the Dar and Cynon rivers. ...

History

The railway was authorised by Act of Parliament on 3 August 1846. The first section to be opened was the main line from Neath to Gelli Tarw Junction, and the branch from there to Aberdare, on 24 September 1851. The line from Gelli Tarw to Merthyr Tydfil was opened on 2 November 1853. In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ... August 3 is the 215th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (216th in leap years), with 150 days remaining. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Neath (Welsh: Castell-Nedd) is a town and community with a population of approximately 45,898, located on the river of the same name (Welsh: Afon Nedd) in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales. ... Aberdare (Welsh: ) is an industrial town in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff in the traditional county of Glamorgan, in south Wales, situated (as the name implies) at the confluence of the Dar and Cynon rivers. ... September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Merthyr Tydfil (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) is a town and county borough in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales, with a population of about 55,000. ... November 2 is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 59 days remaining. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1854 to 1857 further branches were opened from Gelli Tarw into the Dare and Amman valleys. These were only used for goods traffic, but included the Dare Viaduct, one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous timber viaducts. Brunel before the launching of the Great Eastern. ... Torontos Bloor Street Viaduct bridges the Don valley; road traffic uses the upper deck, rail traffic uses the lower deck. ...


The Vale of Neath Railway leased the new Aberdare Valley Railway, which opened in 1857 from Aberdare to Middle Duffryn colliery.


Swansea and Neath Railway

Since 1852, the Vale of Neath Railway had shipped coal from a wharf at Briton Ferry, but this entailed moving trains over the South Wales Railway. The alternative was for the South Wales Railway to haul coal trains up the steep incline to Swansea. In 1861 an Act of Parliament was passed for a new Swansea and Neath Railway which, by the time it opened on 15 June 1863, was owned by the Vale of Neath company. Briton Ferry (Welsh: Llansawel) is a town in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot, traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales It lies on the River Neath and Swansea Bay. ... Swansea (Welsh: , mouth of the Tawe) is a city in Wales and a Welsh County. ... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar). ...


The Vale of Neath had also been working its own coal trains over the South Wales Railway since 1861, and had taken over responsibility for working the railways of the Swansea Harbour Trustees too.


Gauge conversion

Almost the whole of the Vale of Neath system had a third rail added to its tracks in 1863. This mixed gauge allowed the Great Western Railway to run standard gauge trains from Hereford through to Swansea over a connection at Middle Duffryn. Sunlight reflects off dual-gauge tracks near Chur, Switzerland Mixed-gauge track and pointwork (1435 mm and 1067 mm) at Odawara in Japan Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same alignment. ... The original Bristol Temple Meads station, first terminus of the GWR, is the building to the left of this picture The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company, linking South West England, the West Country and South Wales with London. ... As railways developed and expanded one of the key issues to be decided was that of the rail gauge (the distance between the two rails of the track) which should be used. ... Hereford is the railway station serving the city of Hereford in Herefordshire, England. ...


The broad gauge rail was removed after the South Wales Railway was converted to standard gauge on 11 May 1872, although by this time the Vale of Neath Railway had been amalgamated with the Great Western Railway, this happening on 1 February 1865. May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Consolidation is the act of merging many things into one. ... The original Bristol Temple Meads station, first terminus of the GWR, is the building to the left of this picture The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company, linking South West England, the West Country and South Wales with London. ... February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ...


Stations

  • Aberdare branch
    • Aberdare (1851)
    • Merthyr Road (Temporary station 1851-1853)
  • Merthyr to Neath
  • Swansea and Neath Railway
    • Neath (Low Level) (1863)
    • Neath Abbey (1863)
    • Britton Ferry Road (1863)
    • Swansea Wind Street (1863)

Aberdare railway station is a railway station serving the town of Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales. ... Merthyr Tydfil railway station is a railway station serving the town of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. ... Neath railway station is a railway station in Neath, south Wales. ...

Locomotives

The Vale of Neath Railway owned 19 broad gauge and 6 standard gauge locomotives:

  • No.s 1-6 4-4-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1851
  • No.s 7-9 4-4-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1854, rebuilt as 0-6-0STs in 1858
  • No.s 10-12 0-6-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1854
  • No.s 13-15 0-6-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1856
  • No.s 16-19 0-6-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1861
  • No.s 20-23 0-6-0ST standard gauge locomotives
  • No.s 24-25 0-8-0ST broad gauge locomotives delivered in 1864

See also

Cornwall Railway viaducts The Cornwall Railway viaducts were mostly built on stone piers but with spans of timber fans. ...


References

  • The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 2: Broad Gauge. The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-906867-90-8. 
  • MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921. London: Great Western Railway. 

 
 

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