Barry Tourist Railway
|Barry Tourist Railway (formerly Barry Island Railway)|
|Name||Barry Island Branch|
|Built by||Barry Railway Company|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
|Operated by||1997-2008 - Vale of Glamorgan Railway Company
2009-present - Cambrian Transport
|Preserved gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
|1994||Vale of Glamorgan Railway Company (VGR) formed|
|1996||Butetown Historic Railway Society officially becomes the VGR|
|June 1997||New base opened at Plymouth Road|
|April 1998||First operations commenced|
|2002||First operations across the causeway|
|Aug 2007||Extension to Gladstone Bridge complete|
|Mar 2008||First passenger train to Gladstone Bridge|
|Nov 2008||VoGC ceases VoGRC lease, chooses new operator (Cambrian Transport) by sealed bid process|
|Jan 2009||December 2009 Cambrian Transport lease starts|
|Barry Island Railway|
The Barry Tourist Railway (formerly the Barry Island Railway) is a railway developed to attract visitors to Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is a key element of the Barry Rail Centre which also includes engineering and training facilities.
An unusual aspect of the railway is that for several hundred yards across from Barry to Barry Island the trackbed used is directly alongside the Network Rail track which uses the original up line, with the Barry Tourist Railway using the down. This continues across the Causeway bridge where the lines diverge into separate platforms at Barry Island. The Railway does not consider itself a line but more of a network as it has two different routes. This is reflected in the map below, with Network Rail shown in red.
In November 2008, the land owner the Vale of Glamorgan Council, undertook a commercial tender exercise, which terminated the lease of previous operator the Vale of Glamorgan Railway in favour of a private operator, Cambrian Transport under a 20 year long lease. Operations commenced in December 2009 and a full years programme of services operated during 2010. Details are shown on the council website. Services have been operated by IRIS II DMU (twin-set) and 0-6-0 Pannier Tank locomotive, No. 9466.
In 1979, the Butetown Historic Railway Society was formed in Cardiff, running service along a short piece of line from Butetown. Evicted by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation, the company was offered a lease by the Vale of Glamorgan Council on Barry Island railway station, with financial aid from the Welsh Development Agency.
Following the December 2007 decision by landlords, the Vale of Glamorgan Council to terminate the £65,000 funding of the Barry Island Railway, the society maintained its services. However less than six months after withdrawing financial support, the council without warning decided to put the railway site out to tender under a long term lease. There were three bids submitted with the successful bidder being the commercial company Cambrian Transport who have been the council's railway adviser and contractor since the Barry Railway Project started.
The other bidder NEWCO was submitted by Graham Lee – owner of the LH Plant, Hunslet Engine Company, Statfold Barn Railway – and Mike Thomson – owner of Arrowvale who make "black boxes" for the rail industry. NEWCO had spoken to the VGR in advance and agreed a method of working together.
Cambrian Transport have operated the railway at Barry since December 2009 several days a year.
The Barry Tourist Railway is centred at Barry Island railway station and platforms, which is shared with Arriva Trains Wales services. Coordinates: The station is maintained by Cambrian Transport and there are plans to open a shop, small cafe and museum as well as space for event displays and activities. At the 'Cardiff' end of the building is the end of the Network Rail platform area. Access to the Barry Tourist Railway platform and two at-present unused bay platforms is at the pier (east) end of the station. The Barry Island Railway line exits the east end of the station to Plymouth Road where a museum is to be developed. A small platform will allow visitors to alight and see the historic artefacts and exhibits while a DMU driver changes ends or steam-hauled trains have to run-around. In the past, certaion trains ran through Barry Island station and a tunnel to Barry Pier to connect with P&A Campbell's paddle steamer sailings in the Bristol Channel. At the moment the tunnel is blocked off and used as a shooting range. The railway has long-term ambitions to reopen the tunnel and route to Barry Pier.
Heading west, the line crosses the causeway bridge parallel to Network Rail before taking a sharp right-hand turn and splitting into two branches, one leading down to Hood Road (the Waterfront), the other heading past a locoshed and on to Woodhams halt to the new terminus at Gladstone Bridge next to the supermarkets. It is intended to extend the line a further half mile to a site adjacent to Arriva Trains Wales Barry Docks Station.
The running line runs near to the site of the former Woodham Brothers scrapyard. The former wagon repair works building at Barry is now the main running shed and is also used to store and repair rolling stock.
Some parts of the line, particularly around the Plymouth Road/Barry Island area, were used for several scenes in the Doctor Who episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" in January 2005. More recently filming of Being Human and Ar-y-Tracs has taken place.
Stock marked with an asterisk (*) is located at the former Barry EWS depot. (No public access to the depot).
- Main-line steam locomotives
The last remaining locomotives from Dai Woodham's scrapyard, these are the remains of the last locomotives left when the yard closed - a group often called the Barry Ten, as there were ten of them. Since then most of them have been removed for use in heritage railway projects and for restoration. These locomotives are not part of the Barry Railway proper, and indeed most are too large to ever run there. Instead, the railway receives other benefits in the form of free equivalent steaming days from the recipients of the locomotives. All these locomotives and two tenders are rusting hulks, stored and are not publicly viewable. The Barry Ten are under the management and ownership of Cambrian Transport, who publicly announced on 4 May 2010, various plans for the different engines (see below).
- BR 2-10-0 Class 9F no. 92245* built in 1959. – (Stored. Due to be displayed as an example of an unrestored ex Barry scrapyard engine).
- GWR 0-6-2T 5600 Class no. 6686* built in 1928. – (Stored. Due to be restored).
- 3000 gallon GWR tender* – (as of May 2010, owned by the Great Western Society ).
- LMS Fowler Tender* – Under restoration for use by The LMS-Patriot Project with new build LMS Patriot Class 4-6-0 'The Unknown Warrior'.
- Diesel locomotives
- BR 0-6-0 Class 08 no. 08481 – Non-operational, awaiting overhaul. - Owned by Traditional Traction.
- BR Class 20 Class 20 no. 20228 (CFD no. 2004) – Non-operational, under overhaul. - Owned by Traditional Traction.
- BR Class 47 Class 47 no. 47768* – Stored. Privately Owned.
- Diesel Multiple Units
- BR Class 101 unit (Iris II)* – Operational. Owned by Cambrian Transport. Formed RDS 977963+RDB 977964.
- BR Class 101 DTCL 6300* - stored.
- Electro-Diesel locomotives
- Electric Multiple Unit trailers
- BR Class 488/2 unit 488206 (72505+72629)
- BR Class 488/3 unit 488311 (72620+72710+72621)
- BR Class 489 unit 489110 (68509)
- Barry Tourist Railway[dead link] (Glamorgan Council Website)