Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

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Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby Sedge » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:19 pm

I have just received my pre-ordered copy of this book and should like to point out two errors in its content.
Error 1. The summit of the line as advised on pages 3, 5 and 39 was not at 1313 feet at Torpantau, but in the railway cutting above Fochriw at 1314 feet.
Error 2. Dowlais Top Station on pages 48/49. The bridge shown in the photograph at the rear of the train did not carry the LNWR railway since its metals were about 50 feet below those of the B&M. It probably carried the old Rhymney Limestone Railway. I have emailed the publisher with the above.
I am a little disappointed by the book since it has not listed all halts and stations, Darran and Deri being one, since I was expecting more information on the various stations.
At Fochriw, for instance, it could have mentioned that it was almost exactly the halfway point of the Brecon to Newport route and given the reason for its unusual staggered platforms, this being that the track was made-up to traverse the sloping valley side and to build the second platform opposite the first would have had heavy cost implications and structural stability issues.
The make-up of the train was mostly 3 carriages, at times with at least one being a red and yellow corridor coach containing a toilet for the long journey (time not distance that is), other times it consisted of all crimson carriages with a corridor coach. Does anyone know the reason for the changes and details of the actual carriages used?
The photograph of Bargoed Station on page 53 shows a goods train headed by a 56XX occupying the Brecon line platform and a passenger train headed by a 57XX occupying the Up Rhymney platform. This photograph was taken on 9 August 1962 during the period that DMUs were also in operation since there is a "6 CAR" notice attached to the water tank. I cannot recall 57XX operating the Rhymney service so could this have been a Brecon train or, at the end of the steam period, any engine available was used?
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby Noel » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:01 pm

Curiously, error 2 is repeated in [or from?] a photo caption in the article by Stanley Jenkins on the Brecon & Merthyr Railway, in Steam Days of June 2004, though it is not the same photo, as the one in Steam Days has no train present. Looking from Dowlais Top station towards the bridge, the original connection between the B&M and LNWR swung right immediately beyond the level crossing, dropping to join the LNWR.
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby RichardHC » Thu May 05, 2016 9:27 am

I have now received all four of these books in the Lost lines of Wales series by Tom Ferris from Graffeg Publishing. They are:
Ruabon to Barmouth ISBN 978 1 909823 317 4
Brecon to Newport ISBN 978 1 909823 318 1
Aberystwyth to Carmarthen 978 1 909823 319 8
Cambrian Coast Line 978 1 909823 320 4
They are small, oblong format, hardback photo albums about 200mm x 150mm with 64 pages and about 30 photographs in each (in two of the books a few of the photographs are in colour). There is an introductory chapter in each giving the history of the line and detailed captions to the photographs. The photographs which come from a wide range of dates have reproduced well and although a few are familiar many may be being published for the first time. I have a few quibbles about these books. The maps only show the line under consideration and no connecting lines or other geographic features and omit some of the intermediate stopping places. Another concern is that in some cases the captions have been printed across the images. However, at only £6.99 each these books are well worth considering if you are interested in the lines described.
Graffeg Publishing's website is http://www.graffeg.com but of course you can order these books from your local bookseller as well.
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby RichardHC » Tue May 10, 2016 6:13 pm

I have just been looking at the Brecon to Newport volume again. On page 35 there is an undated photograph of an unidentified GWR 14XX 0-4-2T running bunker first at the head of a freight train apparently heading southwards near Talybont. I don't recall having seen a photograph of this class of locomotive on this line before. The usual locos were 0-6-0PTs. Were 14XX tanks in use regularly on this route or was this something unusual? I would have thought that hauling a freight train up the Seven Mile Bank to Torpantau would have been a challenge to one of these diminutive locomotives. Any thoughts?
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby Noel » Wed May 11, 2016 8:36 am

According to "Shed by Shed" part 6 [WR] by Tony Walmsley, Brecon had 5801 allocated 8/1950 to 11/1955. These were the non-auto fitted sisters of the 48xx/14xx, the only difference being the absence of the auto gear on the 58xx. This may be the subject of the photo [I don't have the book]. If so, I suspect that its usual occupation was on the Golden Valley line to Pontrilas and this was a 'one off'. Was the picture taken north or south of Talybont? If the former, it may have been going no further than that station. Newport Ebbw Junction at the other end of the B & M had at least one 14xx throughout the 1950s, but it is difficult to suggest a reason why one of them might have been seen that far north.
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby Newport_rod » Fri May 20, 2016 11:57 am

RichardHC wrote: an undated photograph of an unidentified GWR 14XX 0-4-2T running bunker first at the head of a freight train apparently heading southwards near Talybont.


If it's the picture I'm thinking of (I don't have the book so can't check) then it's not Talybont. It's a similar configuration but definitely somewhere else, but where I don't know.
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby 0083 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:33 pm

0083 Sadly the photo is not Talybont but Bullock's Mill level Crossing Near Kington. The loco is 1420 and the photograph taken in 1964. 5801 was allocated to Brecon for working the local services to/from Builth Wells.
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Re: Lost Lines of Wales Brecon to Newport

Postby RichardHC » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:14 am

Thanks to 0083 for identifying the correct location of this photograph. The water course in the foreground is therefore not the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal as stated in the caption but the mill race to the nearby mill. The bridge in the background will cross the River Arrow.
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