Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway
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- This article describes the current heritage railway.
For the historical railway see Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway.
The Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway, earlier known as the Carmarthenshire Tramroad was established in 1802 in Wales by an Act of Parliament. It began running trains in 1803, the initial line being a plateway, with motive power provided by a pair of horses. The Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway is claimed to be the Oldest Public Railway in Britain. Although the Surrey Iron Railway was the first to be incorporated, it is believed that the LMMR was the first to open to traffic.
The Carmarthenshire Tramroad closed in 1844 but the railway reopened in 1883 operated by the newly formed Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway Co. That company disappeared in 1922 on being absorbed into the Great Western Railway, which itself was absorbed into British Railways in 1947. Throughout the twentieth century the line continued as a main artery for coal distribution from the Gwendraeth valley, until the closure of Cynheidre Colliery in 1989.
Llanelli and District Railway Society
Following a campaign lasting almost ten years from the Llanelli and District Railway Society (L&DRS) to save the intact, but derelict line the hopes were dashed in the mid 1990s when the railway was sold by British Rail property board to the local authorities as part of a scheme to transform the track bed into a cycle way. This path is now labelled as the Swiss Valley Cycle Route, part of National Cycle Route 47, itself a part of the Celtic Trail.
Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway Company Limited
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|Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway (Proposed)|
Whilst the L&DRS's efforts were thwarted, a new charitable company (Registered Charity No. 1087985) was incorporated on 15 April 1999. It is a non-profit making company limited by guarantee with no remuneration paid to its Directors. The company is named The Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway Company Ltd, therefore reviving the name of the former operator albeit with the later Llanelli spelling. The primary objective of the registered charity is to reinstate a railway on the historic line. A heritage centre will also interpret the history of coal mining in the area and in particular the industry which the railway served.
The charity's scheme will utilise derelict land on the site of the former colliery which is now owned by the LMMR outright as of 2005. In the long-term the railway which closed to rail traffic in 1989 will be re-instated where possible. Work at the site at Cynheidre near Llanelli, South Wales is currently progressing at a steady pace. The first phase will include the placing of a loco shed on site as well as making the site available to the public. The primary objective is to achieve a running line of one mile (1.6 km) consisting of a platform, loco shed, heritage centre, gift shop and café. As of September 2007 the loco shed had been fully constructed and this allowed for the rolling stock to be transported to the site on 19–22 November 2007.
The railway held its first public open day on Sunday 3 September 2017 which saw the railway operate brakevan rides using Sentinel 0-4-0DH shunter no. 10222 and BR Brakevan no 981287. The railway's buffet car was used for refreshments throughout the course of the day. Future events are likely in the near future.
The LMMR operates and in some cases owns the following rolling stock:
- 1498 Avonside Engine Company 0-4-0 saddle tank named 'Desmond' Built 1906 - Currently located at the Llangollen Railway pending restoration
- No. 10222 0-4-0DM Sentinel Waggon Works (Rolls Royce) diesel shunter
- No. NS 690 0-6-0DE English Electric Class 600 diesel shunter (ex-Dutch Railways)
- No. 08795 0-6-0DE English Electric British Rail Class 08 diesel shunter (ex-Great Western Railway)
- No. 394014 0-4-0 Ruston & Hornsby diesel shunter
- 55019 British Rail Class 122 Diesel Multiple Unit Built 1958 single Unit.
- No.1206 British Rail Mark 2 RFB 1st Class BR Buffet Car Built 1973.
- No.8597 GWR Pre-1900 6 Wheel Luggage Composite Carriage (Minus Wheel Frame).
- GWR Pre-1900 6 Wheel Composite with lavatory compartments Carriage (Minus Wheel Frame).
- No.35377 GWR Toad Brake van
- No.B 951287 BR Brakevan Brake van
- No.48325 British Rail Tar Wagon (Circa 1939).
- No.40225 British Rail Tar Wagon (Circa 1950).
- No.40229 British Rail Tar Wagon (Circa 1950).
- British Rail Tippler Wagon - Cut down to flat bed wagon.
- No.2135 GWR Bloater Fish Van (Circa 1919) (Owned by Vale of Neath Railway).
- The Llanelly & Mynydd Mawr Railway - 1st Edition - 1992 by M.R.C. Price - Oakwood Press ISBN 0-85361-423-7