Brecon Mountain Railway

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Brecon Mountain Railway
Rheilffordd Mynydd Brycheiniog
Brecon Mountain Railway train.jpg
1908-built German 0-6-2WTT Graf Schwerin-Löwitz and American-style carriages.
Locale Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Terminus Pant
Commercial operations
Name Brecon Mountain Railway
Built by Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil Junction Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned by Brecon Mountain Railway Ltd
Operated by Brecon Mountain Railway Ltd
Stations 4
Length 5 miles (8.0 km) [1]
Preserved gauge 1 ft 11 34 in (603 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1980
Preservation history
The American feel of the line is apparent from this photo of 1930 US-built Baldwin pacific No. 2 on 11 April 2004.
Brecon & Merthyr Tydfil Junction Railway
Neath and Brecon Railway
to Neath
Brecon (Watton)
Brecon (Free Street)
Groesffordd Halt
Taff Vale Railway
to Cardiff Central
Talyllyn Tunnel
674 yd
616 m
Merthyr High Street
Talyllyn Junction
Maerdy Junction
Hereford, Hay & Brecon Rly
to Hereford
Brandy Junction
Mid Wales Rly
to Builth Wells
Ynysfach Junction
Ynysfach Ironworks
Rhydycar Junction
Pentir Rhiw
Cyfarthfa Junction
Cwm Colliery
Great Western Railway/
Taff Vale Railway
Llwyngelyn Junction
Quakers Yard and
Merthyr Railway
Heolgerrig Halt
Great Western Railway
to Aberdare
Cyfarthfa Steelworks
Cefn Viaduct
Cefn Coed Y Cymmer
Torpantau Tunnel
666 yd
609 m
Pontsarn Halt
Pontsarn Viaduct
Morlais Junction
Dowlais Central
Brecon Mountain Railway
Morlais Tunnel
1040 yd
951 m
Pontsticill Junction
Pantysgallog Halt
(High Level)
Pant Junction
Dowlais (High Street)
Dowlais Top
Merthyr, Tredegar
& Abergavenny Rly
Dowlais Top Junction
Merthyr, Tredegar &
Abergavenny Rly (LNWR)
Rhymney Railway
to Dowlais Cae Harris
to Abergavenny
Fochriw Junction
Fochriw Colliery
Ogilvie Village Halt
Rhymney Railway
to Rhymney
Ogilvie Colliery
Rhymney & Pontlottyn
Darran and Deri
Groes-Faen Colliery
Cwmtysswg Colliery
Croes-Faen Halt
New Tredegar & Tirphil
Bargoed North Junction
Cwmsyfiog & Brithdir
Bargoed South Junction
Aberbargoed Junction
Rhymney Railway
to Caerphilly
Aber Bargoed
Newport, Abergavenny
Fleur de Lis platform
and Hereford Railway
to Aberdare
Maesycwmmer Junction
Newport, Abergavenny
and Hereford Railway
to Pontypool
Rhymney Railway
to Caerphilly
Gwernydomen Halt
Barry Railway
to Barry Junction
Fountain Bridge Halt
Waterloo Halt
White Hart Halt
Machen Quarry
Church Road
Pontypridd, Caerphilly
and Newport Railway
to Alexandra Docks

The Brecon Mountain Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Mynydd Brycheiniog) is a 1 ft 11 34 in (603 mm) narrow gauge tourist railway that runs through the Brecon Beacons along the full length of the Pontsticill Reservoir and uphill passing the nearby upper (Pentwyn) reservoir to Torpantau.

The BMR, is located three miles (4.8 km) north of the town of Merthyr Tydfil, Mid-Glamorganshire, South-East Wales.

Route of the BMR[edit]

The line runs along part of the trackbed of the northern section of the former 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge Brecon and Merthyr Railway from Pant to a new station at Torpantau, via Pontsticill and Dolygaer Loop, A total of approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) in length.

With this, it has taken the BMR just short of the southern entrance to the 667yd long Torpantau tunnel, the highest railway tunnel in Great Britain,[2] that carried the original line through the hills along the side of Glyn Collwn to Brecon.

One of the benefits of the line, and a condition of the planning permission, is that tourists can access and experience remote parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park without driving their cars through it.[3] Car parking for railway passengers is only available at Pant Station, outside the National Park.

The Brecon Mountain Railway is a fellow member of the Great Little Trains of Wales.


Construction of the BMR started in 1978, with the grant of a Light Railway Order in 1980.[4] Track laying between Pant and Pontsticill took place in 1979-80. At Pontsticill the station house was renovated, the old waiting room was converted into a small workshop and a storage shed was built. 7 bridges were repaired or replaced. The railway opened to passengers in June 1980 using the engine Sybil and one carriage.

Between 1982 and 1996 a large station and workshop was built at Pant. This provides passenger facilities including toilets, cafe, shop and booking office as well as the extensive workshop used to build and maintain the railway locomotives, carriages and wagons.

The railway was extended from Pontsticill a further 1 12 miles (2.4 km) to Dol-y-Gaer which opened in 1995. The railway was further extended to Torpantau, just short of the southern entrance to the Torpantau Tunnel with passenger services commencing 1 April 2014.

Stations of the BMR[edit]


Full list of steam locomotives at the site:[5]

Builder Works No. Date Type Name or Number Status
Baldwin 15511 1897 2-6-2 1 Undergoing restoration in the workshops.
Baldwin 61269 1930 4-6-2 2 Operational. Originally built for the Eastern Province Cement Company in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Acquired by the Brecon Mountain Railway around 1990, and restored to full working order in 1997.[6]
Baldwin Original was No. 23 2-6-2 3 Original locomotive scrapped in 1936. A replica is being constructed in the workshops from the original drawings.
Baldwin Original was No. 10. 2-4-4T 4 Original locomotive scrapped in 1936. A replica is being constructed in the workshops from the original drawings.
Brecon Mountain Railway 001 1987 0-6-0DH Operational.
De Winton 1894 0-4-0VBT Pendyffryn On display but is in working order.
Hunslet Engine Co. 827 1903 0-4-0ST Sybil On display but is in working order.
Jung 1261 1908 0-6-2WT+T Graf Schwerin-Löwitz 99-3553 Operational.
Redstone 1905 0-4-0VBTT On display but is in working order.
Wickham 10943 1976 2w-2PMR Operational.
Kambarka TU7-1698 1981 4w-4wDH The loco came from a Peat Railway at Seda, in Latvia.[7]
Kambarka 706.951[8] 1985 4w-4wDH The loco came from a Tatra Electric Railway, in Slovakia.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacobs (Ed.), Gerald (2005). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western. Trackmaps, Bradford upon Avon. ISBN 0-9549866-1-X. 
  2. ^ Accessed 18 December 2012
  3. ^ accessed 18 December 2012.
  4. ^ Notice of Light Railway Order application, 1979
  5. ^ UK Locos - Preserved, Private, Hired & Industrial Locos
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°48′33″N 3°22′02″W / 51.8093°N 3.36731°W / 51.8093; -3.36731