Swansea Vale Railway

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Swansea Vale Railway
0-00 Swansea St Thomas
0-62 North Dock Goods
0-35 Harbour Branch Junction
1-32 Upper Bank
1-35 Upper Bank Junction
GWR South Wales Main Line
to Landore
2-52 Six Pit Junction
3-06 Morriston
3-18 Llansamlet Goods
5-11 Clydach-on-Tawe
5-44 Glais Goods
† 6-08 Glais Passenger
† 5-62 Glais Junction
7-75 Pontardawe
11-10 Ynisygeinon Junction
12-36 Ystalyfera
12-58 Gurnos Junction
12-72 Gurnos Junction Goods
13-57 Cwmtwrch Well Halt
14-40 Gwys
16-24 Cwmllynfell
18-16 Brynamman Junction
Great Western Railway
to Pantyffynnon
18-22 Brynamman East(MR)
Swansea Vale and Neath &
Brecon Junction Railway
13-47 Ystradgynlais(SVNBJR)
16-25 Abercrave(SVNBJR)
18-19 Colbren Junction(SVNBJR)
18-30 Neath and Brecon Railway
Distances are shown in miles and chains from St Thomas.
Spellings are those used by the Midland Railway in 1911.
†: 0 miles 15 chains Glais Passenger to Glais Junction.

The Swansea Vale Railway (SVR) was a railway line connecting the port of Swansea in South Wales to industries and coalfields in the Swansea Valley and the Brynamman district on the borders of Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire. Later additions to the route included a loop line through Morriston and a branch – the Swansea Vale and Neath and Brecon Junction Railway – which connected the SVR to the system of the Midland Railway Company by means of running powers over the Neath and Brecon Railway. The Midland and its successor company the London, Midland and Scottish Railway were the owners of the SVR from 1876 until 1947.


First opened in 1816 as a tramroad for conveying coal from Scott's Pit, near Birchgrove, to wharves on the River Tawe nearly four miles (6 km) to the south, the Swansea Vale route grew to become a feeder railway for several mines and metal-working industries in the valley, and by 1874 it was carrying passengers between Swansea St Thomas station, Llansamlet, Glais, Pontardawe, Ystradgynlais (on the Swansea Vale and Neath and Brecon Junction Railway), Ystalyfera, and Brynamman. The railway was leased in 1874 by the Midland Railway and purchased outright by that company two years later in order to give the Midland access to Swansea docks bypassing the routes of rival railway companies.

In 1923, most of Britain's railways were merged into the "Big Four" companies and many of the alternative routes which had arisen through competition were run down. Additionally, as the importance of Swansea port and Swansea Valley industries declined between the 1930s and 1960s, so too did traffic on the line. Direct passenger services to Brecon via the SVR ceased in 1932 and to Brynamman in 1950, with the last freight services over the southern part of the line from Swansea to Pontardawe finally being withdrawn in 1964.


With the assistance of Swansea city council, the Swansea Valley Railway Society, based in Pentrechwyth, leased the last remaining section of intact track between Upper Bank (close to Morfa industrial estate) and Six Pit (now renamed Nantyffin Road). But in 2007 the council took the decision to redevelop the area and declined to renew the lease, because the dilapidated state of the railway, and the value in what was now prime development land as the city expanded. In 2009 Swansea Valley Railway Society negotiated a merger with the Gwili Railway in Carmarthen, and moved most of their stock and rail there.



  1. ^ Based on Midland Railway and Railway Clearing House route diagrams, reproduced in Briwnant Jones G. and Dunstone D. (1999). The Origins of the LMS in South Wales. Gomer. ISBN 1-85902-671-0. 

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