Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Amman Valley Railway

The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company, founded in 1835, had reached Pontardulais by 1839 and arrived at Pantyffynnon in 1840. Here the railway system branched, with one arm stretching up the coal bearing Amman Valley and reaching Garnant by 1841 before terminating at Brynamman in 1842. In 1864 another railway company - the Swansea Vale Company - reached Brynamman along the Swansea Valley from Swansea, St Thomas station, through Morriston, Pontardawe and Ystalfera. Brynamman thus had two railway stations across the road from each other and to continue your journey from there to any of the Swansea Valley stations you had to change stations as well as trains!

On nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the station on the Amman Valley line was called Brynamman West by the newly created British Railways and the Swansea Valley station was called Brynamman East. In 1950 British Railways abruptly closed the Swansea Valley line from 25th September 1950 and the Pantyffynnon to Brynamman line was closed in 1958.

(Above from this page).

Since 1992 the aim of the Board has been for all railways of the Amman Valley to be reopened to traffic. The Society also engages in non-railway social activities, and is progressing towards developing allotments, giving new life to an old school, enhancing local biodiversity, environment and general quality of life.

The railway intends over the next 13 years to reintroduce public passenger services using "low carbon footprint" diesel/methane rail-bus or tram services over a 26 mile (42 km) loop.

In mid-2006, a British Rail Class 103 diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicle was saved from scrapping in Coventry by AVRS, moving it to Swansea for later restoration and possible eventual use on the line, but was passed over to an Essex Museum for resoration in 2008. This was M50397, of the Denbigh & Mold Junction Railway.

The Society presently owns 3 tank wagons (ex Swansea Vale Railway) at Cwmgors being refurbished ready for use on the heritage line section, and has offers of several locomotives from various organisations and patrons, which AVR will take up when the line is re-laid, the mile or so of track still extant needing extensive overhaul.

(Above taken from here).

This is the same railway line that runs through the village my parents live in. The same one I said when I was living with them at the start of the year I would get photos of when the train was passing through. But I never did get you those photos.

Then, on Monday, Mam and I had just been to see Michael and were going to see Emma-Jane, when we had to stop to let the train go by (we had to cross the crossing to get from Elizabeth's house to where Louise lives). I had my camera with me, because of possible baby photos - and the fact I try to take it with me anyway - so grabbed it to get this photo:

Choo, choo!


AliceKay said...

You took a great pic of the train. I know trains can go by pretty fast sometimes and they end up just being a blur thru a camera.

It's a shame how some railroads have disappeared over the years here. There have been miles and miles of track taken up and abandoned. There are still a few in the area, but nothing like there used to be.

Interesting post. :)

Intense Guy said...

That's a marvelous post! And it just all the more reason to always have that camera nearby huh?

I'm amazed at how nice this shot turned out - I assume you haven't ever ridden a train in Wales, at least not this one? You would enjoy their gentle rocking. Maybe someday? :)

Toriz said...

It was a lucky shot.

Yeah, it's a shame. At least in this case they are trying to get it re opened.

I'vve ridden on plenty of trains in Wales, but not this one, and not on these particular tracks (though I used to play on them when I was younger... Along with most people my age). I've ridden on trains from Swansea and Neath though. When we went to see Boyzone in concert we went to Neath by car, but got a train from there to Cardiff, because it was easier than Mam trying to park in Cardiff.

Rita said...

I think they should get more trains back in service. In Minneapolis, Minnesota they opened up a commuter train that runs from Big Lake outside of Minneapolis all the way across the metro area to the MegaMall (Mall of America). My folks just caught the train and rode in to Fridley (the town where I grew up) to have lunch with my sister, Aunt, and cousin this last Sunday. I didn't even know anything about the new commuter train. I've been gone from the TwinCities now for over ten years--hard to recognize some areas when I go back. I think riding that commuter train should go on my bucket list. Not that I had a bucket list--but it's a good reason to start one. ;)

Toriz said...

Yeah, definately!