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Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:18 pm
by Rhobat Bryn
Chris James and Rhobat Bryn Jones met in November 2016 at the legendary Rhiwderin Inn to discuss the production of a book about the above railway. After an engaging conversation that lasted about an hour, they decided to join forces to produce an ‘authoritative’ version of the railway’s history. Research will be carried out at the usual sources: National Archive Kew, local libraries, National Library Aberystwyth, Welsh Railway Research Circle Rhiwderin and so on.

However if any member knows of any other less well-known sources or has material of their own that they think would be useful to such a project, then we would be grateful to hear from you. You can contact either Chris at or Rhobat at All offers are welcome, however small, and any material used will, of course, be returned to the donor in the condition that it was received and will be acknowledged in the publication itself. The aim is to publish sometime in 2019.

The Rhondda & Swansea Bay is something of a Cinderella in Welsh Railway history in that very little has been written about it. Please help us to put that right.

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:49 pm
by s.w.johnson
I'll help by buying a copy when it is publsihed. Neil Parkhouse of Black Dwarf / Lightmoor is very concerned that with the closure of Ian Allan Cardiff, Welsh Railway books will not sell as well so we all need to make sure this is not the case.

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:05 pm
by Rhobat Bryn
Thank you, s w johnson, for your encouragement and support. We are going to need a change of strategy to ensure that Welsh railway books still reach the public. However, I believe that the Circle is well placed to do this.

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:38 am
by NCB
Bit puzzled by Neil Parkhouse's comment. Surely Welsh railways in their various guises are of interest far beyond the borders of Wales, so don't quite see what Ian Allan Cardiff has to do with it.


Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:38 am
by RichardHC
I am delighted to hear of the proposal for a book on the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway.

Just in case it is not well known a book on the line was published in about 1975 by S Richards. It was about 28 pages of duplicated typescript and one of a series that Mr Richards produced on the railways in South Wales. (This particular book also covered the South Wales Mineral Railway.)

Another possible source of information is the Afan Argoed Miners' Museum at Cynonville (near Port Talbot). I believe they have some photographs and posters that may be useful.

I hope this helps.

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:51 pm
by Rhobat Bryn
I am aware of the Richards book, in fact I have a copy of it. I think it's fairer to say that it is more of a pamphlet than a book. Our intention is to publish something more along the lines of the Port Talbot Railway by Simmonds.

However I had not thought of Afan Argoed as a potential source of information regarding the railway so many thanks for the suggestion.

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:23 pm
by RichardHC
Just in case you are not aware of it this website might be a source of some useful illustrations for the proposed book:
In particular have a look at the sections on Aerial Images, Coal Shipping, Dock Railway and P.O.W. Dock.
I haven't been through all the sections and images but the one on Coal Shipping does include a photo of a R&SBR hoist in use at the Print of Wales Dock.
Lots of interesting stuff anyway even if it not relevant for the book!
Obviously you will have to investigate the copyright situation for any use of the images.
(from Richard Coulthurst, WRRC member 379)

Re: Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:10 pm
by Rhobat Bryn
Many thanks for the heads up, Richard.