Traffic across Cymmer Viaduct

Timetables, traffic, industries served, operational issues

Traffic across Cymmer Viaduct

Postby wokmad » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:27 am

Cymmer Viaduct linking the L&OR and the SWMR was opened in July 1878. After the closure of Gyfylchi Tunnel due to a landslip in July 1947 the viaduct became the only route out for traffic on the former SWMR north of Cymmer Corrwg. The viaduct was never passed for passenger traffic meaning that stock for the Cymmer Corrwg-North Rhondda workmen’s trains and the occasional railtour had to cross over empty.

My question is: what and how much revenue traffic passed over the viaduct between 1878 and 1947? All I have found out so far is the following in the GWR STT for May 1911:

LAND SALE CÓAL TRAFFIC, CYMMER (EX R&SBR AND SWMR LINES) TO THE LONDON DISTRICT, FOR MESSRS. BRADBURY, AYRES, Wm COREY AND SON, ETC. Special efforts must be made to get this important and valuable traffic away from Cymmer by the 7.30 p.m. minera1 train thence to Maesteg, and 9.35p.m. Maesteg to Cardiff, to connect with 8.15 a.m. Penarth Junction to Swindon.

This is not particularly explicit as the ex-R&SBR traffic would not have crossed the viaduct, it just requiring a shunt through the exchange sidings with the GWR at Cymmer.

The SWMR WTT of March 1918 makes no mention of traffic across the viaduct.

Any further information of this subject would be most welcome.

Robin Simmonds
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Re: Traffic across Cymmer Viaduct

Postby Garth Tilt » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:49 am

GWR Swansea Division Service Timetables.
8.7.-29.9.1935. There is a 7.25a.m. Goods from Port Talbot Exchange Siding to Cymmer Afan via the R&SB line arr. 8.56.a.m. This train 'Shunts at Cymmer Afan and works trips to Nantewlaeth and Glyncorrwg as required'. The train returns from Glyncorrwg to Duffryn Yard via Tonmawr Junction at 4.30 p.m.
The return 9.40 Duffryn Yard from Glyncorrwg at 6.0. p.m. 'If lightly loaded from Glyncorrwg, the train may be diverted via Cymmer Afan and R&SB section to clear Duffryn Rhondda Colliery'.
Commencing 9.1938 (Cover missing) There is still a retimed 7.20a.m.Goods from Aberavon (Town) to Cymmer Afan via the R&SB line arr. 9.6.a.m. and shunts at Cymmer and works trips to Nantewlaeth and Glyncorrwg. The train returns from Glyncorrrwg at *4.30p.m. via Tonmawr to Duffryn Yard but *Thence as ordered by Glyncorrwg or Cymmer Afan Station Master, and diverted via R&SB line from Cymmer Corrwg when lightly loaded. The return 9.40 Duffryn Yard was booked via Tonmawr Junction.
16.6.-5.10.1947. There is a 8.0.a.m. Freight from Aberavon (Town) to Cymmer Afan arr. 8.58.a.m. then work as required at Cymmer Afan, thence to Glyncorrwg.
Returns from Glyncorrwg at 4.30.p.m. 'Thence as ordered by Glyncorrwg or Cymmer Afan Station Master, and diverted via R&SB line from Cymmer Corrwg when lightly loaded'.

So, Cymmer Viaduct saw regular use at this period. 1926 & 27 STT's do not show any of the above workings. After 1947 landslide both R&SB and L&O routes were used.
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Re: Traffic across Cymmer Viaduct

Postby Garth Tilt » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:27 pm

Certainly by the middle thirties there was a morning freight from Aberavon Town to Cymmer which on arrival at Cymmer became the Cymmer Pilot for the day and this included trips to Glyncorrwg. Sometimes it would return to Aberavon via Tonmawr Junction. There were normally two trips over the SWMR to Glyncorrwg, at various times one of them would be diverted to return via the R&SB if traffic was light and if there was traffic at Duffryn Rhondda. Of course after 1947 all traffic for Glyncorrwg ran via the R&SB line. Cymmer Afan was rationalised in 1960 with a new signal box and the two Cymmer stations combined and worked as one. By this time one of the Glyncorrwg trains ran from Margam New Yard via Tondu and the GWR route. After the closure of the R&SB line below Cwmavon in 1964 the Cymmer Pilot came from Treherbert (R&SB JC) and did at least one trip to Glyncorrwg. So the Viaduct at Cymmer certainly saw regular use up until closure. A systematic trawl through the relevant service/working timetables would give a much clearer picture.
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Re: Traffic across Cymmer Viaduct

Postby wokmad » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:58 am

For some reason I missed the 18/7/17 post on this topic; hence the delayed response. The Swansea Division SSTs evidently provide useful information, but I have instead been through the Cardiff-Pyle, Section 7, SSTs in the belief, mistaken as it turns out, that as the viaduct was originally part of the L&OR that is where any traffic across it wold be mentioned, as is Cymmer-Abergwynfi traffic. So, thanks for pointing me towards the Swansea Division SSTs.

There is a lot of useful info on the nationalisation period in John M Morgan’s book, Fifty Years within Station Limits, Y Lolfa 2014.

Robin Simmonds
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