Llancaiach Branch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Llancaiach Branch
Taff Bargoed Joint Line to Dowlais
Taff Vale Extension (GWR)
to Aberdare High Level
Nelson and Llancaiach
Taff Vale Extension (GWR) to Pontypool
Nelson Halt(site of Llancaiach Colliery)
Llanfabon Road Halt
Travellers Rest
Taff Vale Railway
to Abercynon/Aberdare Low Level/Merthyr Tydfil
Stormstown junction and sidings
Cilfynydd and Albion Colliery
Berw Road Halt
Pontypridd Town Goods
Rhondda Branch
to Treherbert & Maerdy
Taff Vale Railway
to Pontypridd/Cardiff Queen Street

The Llancaiach Branch was a railway branch line in South Wales. Financed and operated by the Taff Vale Railway, on amalgamation became part of the Great Western Railway in 1923. Designed and mainly operated as a coal mining freight railway, its creation and demise was wholly defined by the South Wales Coalfield.


Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as an extension to the main Taff Vale Railway, it ran from Stormstown Junction, just north of Pontypridd on the line to Merthyr Tydfil,[1] for 3 miles 29 chains (5.4 km) to the Llancaiach Colliery.[2]


The line opened for freight only on 25 November 1841,[3] due to its 1:11 incline and the resultant need to operate as a cable-assisted railway.[4] The railway called its northern terminus at the Llancaiach Colliery "Nelson," after a local public house.[3]

In 1858 the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway completed its Taff Vale Extension railway from Pontypool to Quakers Yard, building its station on the level with the Llancaiach Branch and also calling it Nelson. Two years later, an agreement was reached and the TVR Llancaiach Branch extended to access the NA&HR station.[3] In 1873 a deviation avoided the incline from Stormstown Junction, although it remained steep by railway standards at 1:40.[3]

The 1887 closure of the Llancaiach Colliery caused the line to become placed into "care and maintenance" for six months, until the opening of the Albion Colliery.

Passenger services[edit]

Passenger services started on 1 June 1900, with TVR steam railmotors running from Pontypridd to the joint NA&HR station at Nelson. The Royal Train visited the branch on 27 June 1912.

Bus competition eroded passenger traffic, with services to Nelson ceasing on 12 September 1932.[3]


As the various collieries declined, so did the Llancaiach Branch. It closed to through traffic in 1970.

Much of the track bed of the branch was consumed or destroyed when the A470 dual carriageway was constructed from the late 1960s.[3]


  1. ^ http://www.roscalen.com/signals/Abercynon/index.htm
  2. ^ "Taff Vale Railway". My Brunnel. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f ""The Nelson branch" by Edward A. Evans. Pages 12-17". Backtrack 1996 Volume 10. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  4. ^ "The Taff Vale Railway by D.S.M.Barrie". trackbed.com. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 

External links[edit]