Local Railways

This page is intended to pull together and expand on the various railway items spread about the site.

 See also;

The basis of this page is a number of extracts/references from the following source books ;

  • British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working Time Table and Books of Rules and Regulations - Swansea Operating District. This is dated April 1958. Contributed by David Smith (July 2004)
  • History of Pontardawe and District by John Henry Davies 1967
  • The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1911.Translated by Ivor Griffiths.
  • The History of Brynamman  by Enoch Rees  1883/1896. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

The page is divided up into the following main sections although some of the extracts overlap;





Local Routes in 1958

British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working Time Table and Books of Rules and Regulations - Swansea Operating District. 1958

Table A in the source is basically a list of 'Signal Boxes, Running Lines etc'
Table F in the source gives details of 'Propelling Trains or Vehicles'

Here are details of 4 local routes in Table A, the distances shown are from the 'Signal Box next  above' (marked  *).
Super-imposed [in square brackets] in the approximate related position following the Table F place name link are any additional places listed in that table.

Route - Brynamman East to Swansea St Thomas

  • * Brynamman East Station   [there was a link between Brynamman East and West]
  • *Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Sidings -  1 mile 1232 yds
  • Cwmllynfell Station
  • Gwys Station
  • Cwmtwrch Well Halt
  • Blaencwm Colliery
  • *Gurnos Junction -  3 miles 1298 yds
    [Tirbach Colliery]  [Caelliau Branch]  [Wagon Works & Pwllbach Colliery] [Yniscedwyn Branch collieries] [Blaencwm Colliery]
  • Ystalyfera Station
  • *Ynysgeinon Jn -  1 mile 880yds
  • *Ynysgeinon Sdgs -  0 miles 1424 yds
  • *Pontardawe Station - 2 miles 968 yds
     [Waunycoed Sidings]  [Llwyndu Colliery & Brick Works]
  • *Pontardawe South -  0 miles 374 yds
  • *Sixpit Junction -  5 miles 88 yds
    [Felin Fran Sdgs] [Llansamlet South Stn Sdgs]  [Birchgrove Sdgs]
  • *Upper Bank Sidings -  0 miles 1277 yds
  • *Upper Bank Junction -  0 miles 770 yds
    [ICI Works]   [Stewart & Lloyd Tube Works]   [R T & Baldwins, Hematite Works]  [Beaufort Works Sidings] [Morriston East 1 & 2]  [Morriston Tin Plate Works]  [Swansea Eastern Depot]
  • *Swansea St Thomas Harbour Branch Sidings -  1 mile 110 yds
  • * Swansea St Thomas Station -  0 miles 528 yds

Route - Brynamman West to Pantyffynnon

  • * Brynamman West Station
  • *Garnant Station -  1 mile 1177 yds
  • *Glanamman Station -  0 miles 1325 yds
  • *Ammanford Colliery Siding -  2 miles 1045 yds
  • Ammanford Colliery Halt
  • * Ammanford Station -  0 miles 594 yds
  • *Pantyffynnon Garnant Branch -  0 miles 1529 yds
    [Pullman Spring Co.]
  • Pantyffynnon Station
  • *Pantyffynnon South - 0 miles 352 yds

Route - Gwaun-cae-Gurwen to Garnant

  • * Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Station
  • * Garnant Station -  1 mile 764 yds

Route - Abernant to Gwaun-cae-Gurwen

  • Abernant
  • *Gwaun-cae-Gurwen -  3 miles 110 yds



There are several separate extracts in this section.

1. From source;   History of Pontardawe and District by John Henry Davies 1967


We who have grown up in the era of railways, ocean-going ships, nuclear propelled ships, motor cars, buses, jet-propelled aeroplanes and rockets, can hardly realise the vast change which our fathers saw, and how far-reaching the changes have been.

When Roger Hopkin of Gwauncaegurwen sank a pit in 1832, near Caeglas Terrace, railways did not exist in the Amman and Tawe valleys, so he constructed a tramway from the pit through Cwmgors towards Pontardawe. His idea was to take the coal in horse-drawn trams to the Swansea Canal Navigation. Cuttings and embankments of this railway can be traced through Derwydd, Beiliglas Farms, by the Cwmgors School and below the main road on Llwynhen Farm. The excessive amount of water in a sandstone bed met in the pit, stopped the sinking before reaching the coal seam, so that the tramroad to Pontardawe became redundant.

The Llanelly Railway Dock Company constructed a railway to Garnant in 1838, and the first steam engine came over it in 1840. Roger Hopkin, in his second attempt, succeeded in 1837 to sink a shaft to a depth of 173 yards 1 foot to the Big Vein. The pit-bottom was exactly at the same depth as sea-level. In March 1839, the Big or Milford Vein was reached, and the Company announced the use of shares at a premium of £5 each. [ Note; Swansea Vale Railway Extensions Act, 1861].

The railway was extended from Garnant along the narrow gorge of Garnant Stream right up to Pwll-y-wrach. To overcome the great difference of level from the Garnant gorge to the Cross, Gwauncaegurwen, a self-acting incline made of three rails with four rails half-way to allow waggons to pass each other, permitted the full trucks going down to pull up the empty ones. A large wheel was at the top of the incline, around which a rope passed. To one end of the rope, a full waggon on top of the incline was attached, and at the bottom end of the rope an empty truck was fastened. The wheel, provided with a brake, controlled the speed. The wheel and the brake were known as the " Machine ". David Evans worked this for many years and he was known as Dafydd ' Machine '. His sons and grandsons retained this appellation.

At first, horses pulled waggons along a tramroad from the top of the incline to the Old Pit. At the Quarter Sessions in February 1842, before J. E. Bicheno and Lewis Dillwyn, the overseer of the hamlet of Caegurwen, Hopkin William Hopkin reported that about half-a-mile of tramroad from Hopkins and Company colliery to join the Llanelly Railway was not rated. The justices instructed the overseer to rate the tramroad. [ Note; Report of Quarter Sessions (1842)].

Many Gwauncaegurwen people went by the Llanelly Railway Dock Company to Llandilo Fairs --- Ffair Gwyl Barna on June 21st and Ffair Calan Gaeaf on November 12th. In those days they went through the Prince Albert Inn, Garnant, to a temporary platform. Coaches resembling cattle trucks took them on ordinary days, but on Fair days, ordinary coal trucks transported the people to and from Llandilo. The L.R.D. extended their railway from Garnant to Brynamman in 1846, and thus brought coal from John Jones, Brynbrain's collieries, and iron from Amman Iron Works to the markets. In 1868, the first steam engine came up the incline, and it superseded horses.

In a brochure of October 21st, 1927, printed by the Gwauncaegurwen Colliery Company Ltd., on the occasion of the Foundation-stone laying at Buckland Pit, Cwmgors, and the official opening of Steer Pit, it is stated that "the Gwauncaegurwen Pits are situate at Gwauncaegurwen a short distance to the south of Brynamman, and by virtue of connections with the Great Western Railway and the London Midland and S.R. are within easy access to the Ports of Swansea, Llanelly, Briton Ferry and Port Talbot, all of which ports the Company ships its coals with actually no variation in transport charges. The railway organizations concerned are loud in their praise of the exceptionally large storage accommodation provided by the G.C.G. Company at their colliery, which accommodation relieves the railway people from accepting and holding the G.C.G. shipment traffic until it is required at the dockside, to which it is then expeditiously worked in complete trainloads without incurring the congestion in the railway sidings ". The railway which served the Cwmgors Colliery and Brick Works was opened in August 1901.

The Midland Railway Company bought the Swansea Vale Railway on July 1, 1874, and received from the Midland Company, as rent, the sum each half-year of £9,542, being estimated as equivalent to the payment of the usual dividend of six per cent. upon the original shares of the Swansea Vale Company. [ Note; Cambrian (August 21, 1874)] A time-table of the Swansea Vale Railway passenger train service on March 27, 1868, gave the following stations from Swansea : Upper Bank, Llansamlet, Birchgrove, Glais, Pontardawe and Ystalyfera, but on April 23, 1868, the following additional stations were mentioned: Gwys and Brynamman. Two trains came to Brynamman during week days and two on Sundays. In 1864, Ynysgeinon had a station. [ Note; Cambrian (August 21, 1874)]

2. From source ; British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working Time Table and Books of Rules and Regulations - Swansea Operating District. 1958 - Local Instructions Section

These brief notes are edited and selective, the more technical data being omitted

There is a section 'New Cwmgorse Branch from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen West Ground Frame to the Abernant Level Crossing'.

There is reference to the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen West Junction.

There were weight  restrictions on wagons gravitated from the Weighbridge Siding to the Outwards Siding at GCG Colliery Sidings.

References to No 1 Siding and the Mileage Siding at GCG.

The 4 sidings referred to as GCG Sidings had a total capacity of 220 wagons; the Cwmgorse Colliery Sidings 137 wagons; and the Upper and Lower Mileage Sidings 19 wagons.

Pontardawe/Swansea Vale Line


There are several separate extracts in this section.

1. From source; History of Pontardawe and District by John Henry Davies 1967


The fastest means of transport through the Tawe Valley up until 1860 was by horseback along a rather rough road.


The formal opening of the Swansea Vale Railway from Swansea to Pontardawe took place on February 20, 1860, when a special train conveyed a select number of persons. On their arrival at Pontardawe, the company alighted and were treated by William Parsons, the owner of the works, to a refreshing glass of champagne. The party resumed their seats and reached Swansea in half-an-hour. There were four stations, namely, Swansea, Llansamlet, Glais and Pontardawe. The line was opened to the public on the following day. On arriving at Pontardawe, a large concourse had assembled, chiefly from the works of the locality, where a general holiday had been declared to celebrate the important event.

The line to Ystalyfera was rapidly proceeded with and, when completed, it passed through a picturesque valley. To the tourist, the man of business and the manufacturer, the opening of the Swansea Vale Railway was a great felt want, and it proved to be as advantageous to the public as it was to the enterprising proprietors [ Note; Cambrian February 24, 1860]

It is interesting to notice the first passenger time table of March 2, 1860, which was as follows : [ Note; Cambrian March 2, 1860]

Up trains 
























Down trains




















There were two trains on Sunday




The Swansea Vale Railway opened at Ystalyfera on Monday, January 21, 1861. Several alterations in the time-table took place. On Wednesday, November 20, 1861, another link in the chain of the local railway communication was completed. A vivid description of this important event appeared in the Cambrian;

" In the course of a few years, by the unwearied zeal, ability and prescience of Mr. James Palmer Budd, on a commanding spot on the banks of the River Tawe, there now stands one of the most gigantic iron and tinplate works, unique in the kingdom, a wonder to all tourists, and the admiration of all employers of labour. In these works, a population of upwards of ten thousand are now dependent for the means of maintenance for themselves and families."

" Mr. J. P. Budd gave a luncheon in honour of the opening day. When the train reached Ystalyfera, it was greeted with acclamations by the people and the firing of a cannon. The locality was gaily spanned with banners, whilst a good local band poured forth harmonious strains to welcome the first arrival. The school children, too, formed not the least interesting feature, some 500 to 600 of them being present."

The luncheon was given by Mr. and Mrs. Budd to sixty guests. The conditions prevailing at the time may be gleaned from Mr. H. H. Vivian, M.P., who " congratulated his friend Mr. Budd that he was now nearer the pale of civilisation than he was before. He could now run down to Swansea in a first class railway carriage instead of trundling over 14 miles of rough road."

Swansea Vale Railway proposed extensions in 1861. The Company wanted to construct a railway to form a junction between their authorised Palleg or Cwmtwrch Branch Railway and the railway of the Llanelly and Dock Company leading to Amman Iron Works, Brynamman. A Bill passed the Standing Orders Committee to this effect, on February 15, 1867. [ Note; Swansea Vale Railway Extensions Act, 1861]

The directors of the Swansea Vale Railway Company, at their half-yearly meeting of August 26, 1874, decided in an agreement between the Midland Railway Company and the Swansea Vale Railway Company and obtained an Act authorising the company to hold under a lease in perpetuity, the undertaking of the Swansea Vale Railway, such a lease to commence on July 1, 1874. The first passenger train along the Midland Railway steamed into Brynamman on March 2, 1868. The new Great Western Railway station on the opposite side of the road opened on June 25, 1886.

2. From source; The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan, 1911.Translated by Ivor Griffiths.


The biggest stimulation to trade in the district was the opening of the Swansea Vale Railway by the Taff Company.The first section from Swansea to Pontardawe was opened on February 21st 1860; from Pontardawe to Ynysgueinon on January 21st 1861; from Ynysgueinon to Ystalyfera on November 21st 1861,and from there to Brynamman by March 2nd 1868. They built another line from Upper Bank through Morriston to Glais,and this was opened on October 2nd 1871. The first line from Upper Bank ran through upper Llansamlet and below Birchgrove to Glais --- the way that the coal is carried today. The Taff company gave a lease to the Midland company in 1874.At the beginning, only one worked on the station in Pontardawe. He was the 'porter', the 'booking clerk', and station master, so had no opportunity to quarrel with anyone, so he would go to the mirror and quarrel with himself. Three trains a day ran through the valley at that time, but today there are as many again each weekday, and more again on Saturdays.

Before the opening of the railway, the inhabitants went to Swansea in a barge drawn by horses, and these moving as slowly as "the Dead March in Saul". The boatmen were very noisy at their work. They were noted for cursing and swearing, and at times one would think that Gehena had released its prisoners, because the language made it seem so. It was said that the old Rev.Philip Griffiths of Alltwen owned a horse named Jack, and I can remember the dear old man riding him around the country to preach. When Jack and Griffiths became old, they parted on the best of terms. Jack went to the boatmen --- changing his job in more ways than one. One day the old Patriarch was standing on the canal bridge, and saw his dear old friend Jack coming down the towpath towing a heavy load behind him, and curses falling upon him like a shower of brimstone from the mouth of the driver. Griffiths happened to hear the driver sending Jack to H....   and said "Well,Well! Jack bach, I little thought when you were carrying the Gospels around the country that it would be in H... you would spend eternity." The words were strong, but I am afraid that the words are true in many stories of mankind, without including Jack.

Before the opening of the canal or the railway, the inhabitants went to Swansea by stage coach drawn by four horses through dusty, potholed roads, and every improvement that has taken place from then until now has been dearly paid for. But,having done so, the gain has been great.

In 1890, a branch line was opened by William and Daniel Thomas, sons of Daniel Thomas, Alltwen Isaf, from the Swansea Vale Railway tip to the 'Primrose' ,Rhos, Cilybebyll, and from there on to Wernddu and Pwllbach. In 1895, an Act was passed by the Liberal Government giving permission for a railway to be built from Neath through Pontardawe and Rhydyfro to Brynamman. This raised the expectations of the local inhabitants,and there was much talk about the 'Neath and Brynamman Railway'. The thing has been in the wind from then until now,and according to the signs, it will disappear with the wind. There was an Eisteddfod in Pontardawe in 1895, and a prize was offered for the best song to the new railway. The adjudicator on the song was Watcyn Wyn,and the winner was William Williams (Gwilym o'r Ynys)Pontardawe.



There are several separate extracts in this section.

1. From source; The History of Brynamman  by Enoch Rees  1883/1896. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

"1842-1846 ...... these were important years in the history of Brynamman............... the railway from Garnant to Brynamman was built by John Jones, Brynbrain. It was a branch, or rather an extension of the Llanelly & Dock Company Railway for the main purpose of carrying the coal of 'Level y Bresen' to its market.................... Before they had  the steam engine to run on it, Mr Jones had a carriage drawn by a horse to convey him and others to Cwmamman church every Sunday. The horse and carriage was in service long after the train came because the train did not run on Sundays..."

"1864 ..... This was the year that the Swansea Vale Railway to Brynamman was opened, and this was the year that the name Gwterfawr was changed to Brynamman. The name Brynamman was on the  railway station (which opened in this year) in letters big enough to frighten every other name away for ever.

Mae newid yr enw yn dipyn o beth,
Mae enw canolig ar le da --- yn dreth;
Wel dyma y flywddyn a diolch am hyn,
Y clawddyd y Gwter --- a codwyd y Bryn !

The name Brynamman was printed on adertisements and tickets of the new railway and quickly became a public name, and gradually won the day over the old name. ...."

"1874 ...... Towards the middle of this year the Midland Railway took over the Swansea Vale Railway which runs to the district......"

"1886 .... The new Great Western Station was opened.."

"1891 .... the telegraph wire moved from the Great Western Station to the Post Office in Station Road..."

2. From source ; British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working Time Table and Books of Rules and Regulations - Swansea Operating District. 1958 - Local Instructions Section

These brief notes are edited and selective, the more technical data being omitted.

Brynamman East

Transfer Sidings -  are on a falling gradient of 1 in 49 towards Brynamman West.

Between Brynamman East and Gwys were the Pheonix Tinplate Works Sidings

There are regulations for accessing to the Cwmllynfell Colliery Sidings

Likewise over the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery Sidings  approaching from Gurnos Junction, there is reference to a Goods Loop.

Brynamman West

There is a section dealing with the formation of passenger trains to and from Brynamman; mentions  Brynamman Loading Bank Siding, and Brynamman Tunnel

References to Sand Siding, and Middle Loop.

3. Contributed by John Miles (Nov 2004)

From Kelly's Directory 1891

GWR Brynaman

Station Master ;  Isaac Morgan Price

Ditto Midland; John Edwards

Kellys 1920


GWR SM; David Jones,

MR SM; Frank William Tomlins

As a post-script, the passenger line from Brynamman West down to Pantyffynnon was closed to passengers in 4 August 1958.




1. From source ; British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working Time Table and Books of Rules and Regulations - Swansea Operating District. 1958 - Local Instructions Section

These brief notes are edited and selective, the more technical data being omitted.


The Farmers' Siding is connected with the Farmers' Cooperative Society's Warehouse situated across the Public Roadway and wagons are moved by manual labour between the Commission's property and the warehouse.

There is reference to the Ammanford Colliery Loop.

There is a section dealing with Pontamman Level Crossing, specifically the permission granted to use this by the Morriston Silica brick Company Ltd.


Local Down trains from Tirydail and the Brynamman Branch were examined at this station.

The notes refer to North and South Boxes; and Up Sidings (5 in all, including 3 Loop Sidings, a Dead-End Siding & Weighbridge Road --- all allowed to hold a stated number of wagons from designated places e.g Brynamman Branch. Total capacity of these sidings was 156 wagons).

There are strict regulations concerning the operation of the public Level Crossing at the north end of the station.

NCB engines not allowed to shunt at the Park and Rhos Colliery Sidings without specific permission

There are set instructions for the formation of freight trains Pantyffynnon to Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, the three stated destinations being Mileage Sidings Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Cwmgorse Colliery and GCG Colliery.

There are Working Instructions for the New Sidings on the Down Side of the Brynamman Branch line between Pantyffynnon and Ammanford (6 sidings with total capacity 422 wagons)


There is reference to Siding Connections between Ammanford Colliery Siding and Glanamman Station Signal Boxes. Also the Cawdor Colliery Siding and Cawdor Crossing.


There is reference to the Raven Loop, near Garnant; and to the Garnant Public Level Crossing at the east end of Garnant Station. Also Raven Level Crossing, and the Jolly Bridge (used as a dead-stop site)

There is reference to Noyadd Level Crossing between Garnant and Brynamman.

Extracts from the Amman Valley Chronicle and the East Carmarthenshire Advertiser

These railway related local snippets compiled and contributed by David Smith  (Oct 2005)


Jan 21st 1950 -

Wales v England at Twickenham       Special excursion

  • Brynamman West 1225 pm all stations to Pontardulais (1.10am)
  • Paddington arr 0650 am - return 1055 that evening - fare 32/-


March 23d 1950

Rugby Union - Wales v France at Cardiff - also Cardiff City via Barnsley - special excursion train.

  • Brynamman West 1005 - Cardiff arr 1230 fare  Fare 7/- return


April 10th 1950

Llangadog Horse races;

  • Brynamman West 0745 - Ammanford 0802 fare 4/3 from Brynamman - 3./3d from Ammanford.


Sept 7th 1950

Station Master D J Evans promoted to Tirphil


Sept 29th 1950

"Blackpool Illuminations"

  • Special train from Pontardulais 0020 returning at 0130 from Blackpool on Sunday morning


Jan 18th 1951

Theft of lead piping and brass tap from Gents at Garnant station - (value of £1-12-6 - property of BTC) - 2 local males jailed for 28 days each!


Sat 17th April 1953

Cardiff City via Spurs at Cardiff       Special train

  • Brynamman West       1005
  • Garnant                       1010
  • Glanamman                 1015
  • Ammanford                1025
  • Pantyffynon                1045 (change of engine no doubt)
  • Cardiff Central           1225    
  • Returning at 5.40 pm (Brynamman arrive 7.15pm)    Fare 7/- return


Feb 7th 1950

Wales v Scotland at Edinburgh          Special train

  • Brynamman West         9.25
  • Garnant                         9.30
  • Glanamman                   9.40
  • Pantyffynon                10.00
  • Fare 57/- return (book early)


Replacement SM Ammanford            Mr W Lewis,

New SM Tirydail                               Mr Elwyn Jones

New SM Pantyffynon                         Mr B T Evans


Road coach competition advertising -

Western Welsh and Crossville Express services to Pwllheli via Aberystwyth

  • Associated Motorways -        
    Llandovery to London 37/-9,
    Llandovery - Oxford 26/-9,
    Llandovery- Gloucester 17/-    


April 6th 1953  Timetable changes

0210 Crewe - Swansea to call at Tirydail (0705) to set down on advice to the guard at Llandeilo (request asked for 14 days previous)


April 6th 1953

Llangadog Races

  • Brynamman West       0755                4/6
  • Garnant                      0801                4/-
  • Glanamman                0804                3/9
  • Ammanford                0814                3/3
  • Pantyffynon                0830 / 0848     3/-
  • Parcyrhyn                   0851                3/-
  • Tirydail                      0854                2/9
  • Llandybie                   0900                2/6
  • Derwydd Road           0905                2/-
  • Ffairfach                     0912                1/6


Seven days unlimited travel 25/- valid Shrewsbury to Swansea (something that we would now call a Rover Ticket)


July 30th 1953

Derwydd Road Station closure proposed - in 1952 , the total revenue for the year was £2-0-7, parcels 15/7 - no major objections as local spokesman said "all the local trains were empty today"


Sept 10th 1953

Farmer Edgar Jones Thomas killed at McKay Crossing at Llandybie by a Llandovery - Llanelli local driven by a Llanelli crew


Feb 20th 1954

Football excursion to Cardiff      "Barbarians v New Zealand"

  • Brynamman West        1025
  • Garnant                       1030
  • Glanamman                 1035
  • Ammanford                 1045
  • Pantyffynon                 1100
  • Pontardulais                1110
  • Cardiff arr 1245   
  • Fare 7/- but 6/6 from stations south of Ammanford


Sept 25th 1954

Retirement of SM Pantyffynon (Mr D T Evans) - in position since 1938 - but with 50 years of starting as a clerk at Lampeter in 1903 , transferred to Newcastle Emlyn in 1907 to 1911; Fishguard in 1911 - Chief Clerk 1912 (dealt with the transition from home trade to Ireland as a "foreign trade" with 38 clerks.

His replacement was Mr Dummer SM Neyland - eloquent tributes paid on his retirement by ex workmates "disagreements at times but no malice"


April 1st 1954

BTC announced that the prize for the best kept length of railway in the Neath District (stretching from Pyle to Fishguard) 163 lengths) was awarded to Gang 143 based at Gwys under the charge of Ganger R Carter

This section lay on the Brynamman East to Ynysgeinon Jct section - (not exactly the most heavily trafficked section since passenger services were withdrawn in 1950) - though it ran through heavily graded sections with wear and tear from downhill coal trains from the GCG and Cwmllynfell areas. Length judged by Mr M A Henry District Engineer and Mr E C Cookson, Area Civil Engineer Paddington


April 22nd 1954

Relief SM Ammanford (Mr Glyn Davies) found dead in his office (he had been a relief SM for 16 years) 


April 29th 1954

Closure notice published for Derwydd Road Station (effective from May 3d 1954) - parcels traffic to be transferred to Llandybie.


July 1954

"Full employment"   reported in the local area - a dearth of workers and significant migration inwards of workers. Accomodation  was an issue as the council house building programme was in hand - but making little impact as the demand exceeded supply.


August 5th 1954

Special excursion from Brynamman West at 0830 for Clifton Down and Bristol Zoo (Ammanford 0850) - fare 15/- return (book early!)


August 18th / 19th 1954

Shrewsbury Musical and Floral Fete - services at 0750 and 0830 from Pantyffynon - 21/- return.

Mr R.L Hamer - relief SM Oswestry appointed as SM for Ammanford and Tirydail (a long serving member of staff who had served on the Cambrian Railways at Ellesmere / Aberystwyth and Newtown)


Dec 1954

Closure of Tirydail Gasworks (loss of inwards gas coal traffic)


January 1955

Wales v England at Cardiff

  • Sat January 15th - special excursion from Brynamman West at 1005 all stations to Pontardulais - Cardiff arrive 1215 return 1845 fare 7/- from the branch and 6/6- from Pontardulais and Pantyffynon.


Feb 5th 1955

Wales v Scotland at Murrayfield     Special excursion  

  • W648          9.15pm from Brynamman West to Edinburgh
  • W646          8.25pm from Pantyffynon
  • W653        11.45pm from Pantyffynon
  • W648 was allowed time to reverse at P/ffynon and then called at 10.10 pm at Llandybie. 57/- return


December 1955

Special Christmas season shopping fares

  • Brynamman - Ammanford     1/2d return
  • Garnant - Ammanford           10d
  • Glanamman - Ammanford     8d


Jan 12th 1956

Break in at Ammanford goods yard warehouse with the office clock damaged and a consignment of travelling rugs stolen (but recovered from the banks of the |River Amman - 2 arrests made (information received) and transferred to Carmarthen Assizes for sentencing.


Jan 20th 1956

Wales versus England a Twickenham   Special excursion -

  • Brynamman West        1000 pm          48/3-
  • Garnant                       1005 pm          44/9
  • Glanamman                 1015 pm          44/9
  • Ammanford                 1025 pm          48/-
  • Pantyffynon                 1040 pm
  • Pontardulais                1052 pm
  • London Paddington arrive 0400 Sat am and return departure at 1220 on Sunday morning


March 10th 1956

Wales versus Ireland at Dublin

  • Special excursion from Pantyffynon at 0935 to Fishguard - thence special sailing to Dun Laoghaire . (86/6 return) - Day excursion available for 62/6d


April 25th 1956

Mr Russ found dead in Noyadd Road Crossing Box on the Brynamman West (discovered by the fireman on a freight train) - coincidentally his predecessor Mr Moses had also been found dead at work.


April found many valley pits on strike (2000 staff) after a dispute over a disciplinary procedure over 2 pit bottom hauliers at the Steer Pit Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen.

Nonetheless - weekend tickets to Swansea were offered for 3/3d from Brynamman during Whitsun Week.


August 1956

Special fares offered for the Shrewsbury Music and Floral Fete by the 6.59 / 08.23 and 11.00 departures from Pantyffynon. Fares of 20/6d quoted (6d cheaper than 1955)  


Sept 13th 1956

New Winter Passenger timetable launched

  • Brynamman West to Llanelli 1200 departure retimed to 1235 to connect with a retimed Llandovery to Swansea service at Pantyffynon.
  • Local trade representatives said that the BR representatives had been "most co-operative"
  • However - in November 1956 - there were announcements that the 1300 Pontardulais to Swansea Victoria was being withdrawn due to very poor loadings - as low as zero on Mondays and Tuesdays - but to a maximum of 6 on Saturdays.


February 1st 1958

  • Wales - Scotland at Cardiff - special excursion from Brynamman West at 1000 - Cardiff arrive at 1220 - return at 4.50pm for 7/6d return
  • Also special excursion on the 29th March in the same timings for Wales - France.
  • Finally - special excursion from Pantyffynon to Dublin departing at 0953 for 4/10/6d return.


Feb 22nd 1958

Local boys fined for breaking into stabled passenger rolling stock and stealing 5 axes from the toolboxes and 3 First aid boxes.

Local economy in recession ("return to 1926?) - all staff at the Corgi plant laid off and the coal industry ceased to  recruit in the teeth of much controversy over the potential for mine closures (Saron and Gelliceidrim pits rumoured as being on the hit list) - structural changes obviously in place - as 4 years previously there was judged to be a labour shortage.  


April 17th 1958

Announcement for the proposed closure of the Pantyffynon to Brynamman West passenger service.

BR (W) stated that annual losses of £18,000 a year would be achieved and that substitute diesel services would be "impractical".

The following changes would take place associated with these changes to the Central Wales line.

  • 1105 / 1820 and 2205 Llanelli - Pantyffynon cancelled
  • Pantyffynon to Llanelli 0813 / 1248 (SX) / 1256 (S0) / 165 and 2113 cancelled.
  • "Smalls" traffic would be handled at Brynamman West at 1100 - 1330 and 1400 to 1530 each day Freight traffic continued to both the old GW yards - and to the Midland yard at Brynamman East until 1964.

May 11th 1958

Immediate protests - and claimed that 243 passengers a day used Ammanford (mainly schoolchildren) - though the savings of closure were over £18,000 - traffic lost to rail was valued at £1811 and "cartage" of £64. The operating ratios were 10 to 1 - unsustainable even in 1958.


July 3d 1958

TUCC hearing at the Angel Hotel Cardiff to hear the case of the withdrawal of the 3 trains per day on the branch.


July 11th 1958

Announcement that passenger trains will be withdrawn - though replacement of steam by diesel would have reduced costs by £5000 but "we don't feel that there is any justification for recommending an expensive experiment in the Amman Valley".

Closure date was announced as August 9th 1958 and a special meeting of Station Masters convened at Swansea to discuss the implications for staffing etc.


July 31st 1958

Report on retirement presentation to Head Shunter S P Woodward (Justice of the Peace) of GCG for 46 years of service at that location - made by Garnant SM A Thomas.    

Confirmed also that there would be minor alterations to the Central Wales line to give 2 extra north and south calls at Tirydail replacing Ammanford town) - and that in the same package of economies both Bynea and Llangennech would be unstaffed.


August 9th 1958

Last passenger service train between Ammanford and Brynamman West was the 1034 pm on Saturday the 9th - driven by Driver H Chick and Guard A Pullen. Seem off by Porter J H Thomas.

The train was slightly late leaving due to congestion at the booking office where "passengers" had been buying souvenir tickets all day (often 1st class tickets to Garnant or Glanamman) - SM R L Hamer stated that loadings had been as low as 4 or 5 a train in winter.


Oct 2nd 1958

Overcrowding reported on replacement buses put on in place of the rail services - (one extra vehicle for Brynamman to Ammanford and one extra from Garnant to Ammanford) - reports of children sitting on bus end platforms and returning home soaked (and unable to catch the bus) were made.

The branch remained open to Brynamman for freight until 1964 - and the GCG line seems likely to be reopened for coal traffic to Onllwyn washery in 2005 following a period of neglect.   


July 18th 1958

Nonetheless - a special train was organised departing Brynamman West for Pantyffynon and Llanelli (arr 1000) to connect into 2 "holiday" services for Paignton (1020) and Paddington (1050) - the railway maintained a social service even after its statuary obligations were finished.