South Wales Railway

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South Wales Railway
Cross Country Route to Birmingham and Bristol
Junction to docks and GRC&W Works
Gloucester Eastgate
Gloucester Docks
Gloucester - GWR
River Severn
Alney Island
River Severn
Ledbury and Gloucester Railway
Oakle Street
Grange Court
Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway
Westbury-on-Severn Halt
Newnham
Ruddle Road Halt
Bullo Pill (Goods only)
Awre Junction
Forest of Dean Central Railway
Lydney
Woolaston
Wye Valley Railway
Tutshill Halt
Chepstow East
Chepstow Bridge over the River Wye
Chepstow
Bristol and South Wales Union Railway
Portskewett
South Wales Main Line
Caerwent training area
Severn Tunnel
Caldicot
Severn Tunnel Junction
Undy Halt
Magor
Flying junction
Bishton Crossing
Llanwern station / steelworks
Goods line to Uskmouth
Welsh Marches Line to Abergavenny & Hereford
River Usk
Newport High Street
Brecon and Merthyr Railway to Ebbw Vale
Alexandra Dock
Brecon and Merthyr Railway to Machen and Merthyr Tydfil
Marshfield
River Rhymney
Roath
Rhymney Railway to Caerphilly
Cardiff Queen Street
Taff Vale Railway to Pontypridd
Cardiff Central
Bute Street
Queen Alexandra Dock
P and A Campbell with services across the River Severn
Barry Railway to Barry, Penarth and Vale of Glamorgan
Cardiff Canton Locomotive Depot
Ninian Park
Leckwith Junction
Penarth Harbour and Dock Railway to Taffs Well
Ely Main Line
St Fagans
St Fagans Junction
Barry Railway from Barry to Tynycaeau Junction
Drope Junction
Peterston
Pontyclun
Ely Valley Railway
Cowbridge and Aberthaw Railway
Llanharan
Cardiff and Ogmore Valley Railway
Pencoed
Barry Railway to Vale of Glamorgan
Bridgend
Llynvi and Ogmore Railway to Maesteg
Llynvi and Ogmore Railway to Tondu
Pyle Junction
Pyle
Llynvi and Ogmore Railway to Porthcawl
Port Talbot Railway to Tondu
Port Talbot Railway to Tonmawr
Junction (Mean)
Port Talbot
Port Talbot Docks
Baglan
Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway to Treherbert
South Wales Mineral Railway to Tonmawr
Briton Ferry
Swansea District Line
Neath
Vale of Neath Railway
River Neath
Skewen
Swansea District Line
Junction to Swansea docks
Llansamlet
Landore Viaduct over River Tawe
Landore High Level
Swansea High Street
Cockett Tunnel
Cockett
Gowerton North
Loughor
Loughor Viaduct
Trostre Tinplate Works
Llanellichange for Heart of Wales Line
Pembrey and Burry Port
Lando Platform
Kidwelly Flats Halt
Kidwelly
Ferryside
Carmarthen Junction
Carmarthenfor the Aberystwyth line via Lampeter
Sarnau
St Clears
Whitland
West Wales Line to Pembroke Dock
Former line to Cardigan
ClunderwenReq (Req=Request stop)
loop via Rosebush
Clarbeston RoadReq
branch via Wolf's Castle
Haverfordwest
Wolf's Castle Halt
Welsh Hook Halt
Mathry Road
loop via Rosebush
Jordanston Halt
Fishguard and Goodwick
Fishguard Harbour for Rosslare Europort via Ferry
JohnstonReq
Neyland
Waterston oil refinery
Robeston oil refinery
Milford Haven
Newton Noyes
Hakin Docks

The South Wales Railway was a 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad gauge railway that linked the Gloucester and Dean Forest Railway with Neyland in Wales. The line now forms part of the South Wales Main Line and Gloucester to Newport Line.

History[edit]

The need for the railway was created by the need to ship coal from the South Wales Valleys to London, and secondly to complete Brunel's vision of linking London with New York, and more financially rewarding immediately to the South Wales coal and ferries to Ireland.

A prospectus was issued in 1844 to build a railway through South Wales from a junction with the Great Western Railway at Standish in Gloucestershire. The proposed route would cross the River Severn west of Gloucester, and run through South Wales to Abermawr, near Fishguard, thereby connecting to both southern Ireland and New York. The Great Western Railway agreed to subscribe £600,000 of the £2,400,000 required to build the railway.[1]

However, local objections were raised over the proposed long bridge over the River Severn. The objections were overcome by linking with the Gloucester and Dean Forest Railway at Grange Court,[2] and linking with the rest of the existing 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad gauge system at Gloucester. This diversion added an extra 18 miles (29 km) to the journey between South Wales and London.[1]

The initial part of the line between Chepstow and Swansea was opened on 18 June 1850, with trains operated by the Great Western Railway under a lease agreement.[3] At the eastern end of the line the connection to Gloucester and London Paddington was completed in July 1852 when the bridge at Chepstow was finished. Construction of the line west of Swansea was delayed, due to the financial problems of the late 1840s, and the abandoning of construction of the Irish railways that would connect with the Fishguard ferries at Waterford. The western terminus of the line was changed from Fishguard to New Milford (Neyland)[4] and the line west of Swansea was built in stages, reaching New Milford in April 1856.

As coal traffic from the South Wales Valleys increased, the tensions between the South Wales Railway and the Great Western increased due to a lack of wagons. These were eventually resolved when in January 1862 the two companies merged.

In May 1872, the South Wales Main Line was re-gauged from broad gauge to standard gauge.[5]

In 1886, the direct route to South Wales was implemented with the opening of the Severn Tunnel between Bristol and Severn Tunnel Junction.

Chronology[edit]

Vale of Neath Railway opened from Neath
Railway opened from Landore to Carmarthen
Branch to Swansea Docks opened for goods traffic only
New Act of Parliament authorises the western terminus to be changed from Fishguard to Neyland

Stations[edit]

Includes stations opened by the Great Western Railway and subsequent operators


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b La Luciole – Britain's 7 ft (2,134 mm) gauge railways
  2. ^ Grange Court
  3. ^ MacDermot, E T (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, volume I 1833–1863. London: Great Western Railway. 
  4. ^ Jones, Stephen K. (2006). Brunel in South Wales. II: Communications and Coal. Stroud: The History Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780752439181. 
  5. ^ Hodge, John (2002). The South Wales Main Line. Part Two: Severn Tunnel to Newport. Wild Swan Publications. p. 1. ISBN 1-874103-76-3. 

External links[edit]