Rhymney passenger working to Machen

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Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Newport_rod » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:23 am

It's well documented that the Rhymney's Steam Railmotors used to work between Machen from Caerphilly, but does anyone know (or would care to speculate) how this service was operated when the SRM was not available please?
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Noel » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:20 pm

When an autofitted loco was not available in later days, a non-auto loco was used with the autocoach and ran round at both termini of the service. Presumably with the SRM unavailable a loco and coaches were used with the loco running round at both termini in the same way. I don't have any idea what coaches, though; the Rhymney had 6-wheel coaches accessible from ground level via two level footboards, though it would have been a bit of a climb. Presumably the SRM trailers would have been available?
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Newport_rod » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:24 am

Thank you for your comments Noel. So perhaps we are looking at something like the loco and leading coach seen here (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Senghenydd-Railway-Station-Photo-Abertridwr-and-Caerphilly-Line-Rhymney-Ry-7/263250712629?hash=item3d4af71835:g:wkEAAOSwez5Z2I4e and also seen on p82 of John Hutton's The Rhymney Railway: Branch Lines in the Valleys Pt. 2
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Noel » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:33 am

Or perhaps they just hired a temporary replacement from the GWR? Judging by comments in Kidner, SRMs could only have been used on the Senghenydd-Machen service for about two years at the longest. Another question I don't know the answer to is did the Rhymney service stop at the ground level halts on the Machen loop, or was it all stations to Caerphilly, then Machen?
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Newport_rod » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:09 pm

Hmmm, that's interesting Noel, my understanding was that the RR SRM service ran from 1904 to 1919, albeit with a reduced service from the beginning of 1917 onwards (although I only have secondary services to back that up). Where are KIdner's comments to be found please?

Having said that I look at the normally reliable RCTS Part 11 and it tells be that both the SRMs were built in 1907 and one withdrawn in 1910 and the other 1919 - which casts doubt on the 1904 start date. I think more investigation is required.
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Noel » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:34 pm

Rod, R W Kidner, "The Rhymney Railway", Oakwood Press, page 56 shows the dates as given by the RCTS against Class B 120/1 [although the page isn't numbered for some reason]. Page 67 gives 1910 and 1919 for the dates of conversion of the coach portions to autotrailers. Page 37 gives the start date of the Caerphilly to Machen service as 1/4/1908, as does page 25, and page 50 gives the cars' history, including he comment that "one was rebuilt in 1910, making a separate carriage and a curious 0-6-0WT engine. The other was used until 1919 on the Penrhiewfelin workmen's train, and then dealt with in the same way as the other." The last two paragraphs on page 25 are relevant, and include reference to a Rhymney service from Caerphilly to Machen run from 1917 to 1919.
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Newport_rod » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:58 am

Thank you Noel - I appreciate the time it took to compile that response. I really shall have to get my own copy of the history of the railway on the other side of the valley, people may think me parochial otherwise!

Going back to the intention behind my original question it would a appear that for the greater part of the duration of the service (1908 to 1919) the service would have been provided by something other than an SRM anyway.
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Noel » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:03 am

The aforementioned page 25, Rod, refers to through GWR Newport - Pontypridd trains, stopping only at Caerphilly. It credits the A(N&SW)D&R with introducing a local service [termini unspecified] using two SRMs in 1904 and with building the halts. One of these SRMs was withdrawn in 1910 and replaced by an auto train using an ex-GWR 0-4-2T and a Barnum and Bailey coach. The though trains were withdrawn in 1917 as a war economy measure, and the RR ran a Caerphilly - Machen service from then until 1919 when the through trains were restarted. The reason given for this service is that "the cars did not normally work through to Machen", which does not make a lot of sense to me. However, it seems clear that the RR service was intended as a partial replacement for the withdrawn through service, so may not have stopped at the halts [still presumably served by the ADR service], hence my earlier question.

John Hutton's book on the ADR states in a photo caption on p100 "From 1/4/1908 all PC&N traffic over Rhymney metals was operated with the assistance of Rhymney staff, then on 1/1/1917 the service between Caerphilly and Machen was extended to connect with the Brecon and Merthyr Railway's trains that ran to and from Newport station by using the Rhymney Railway's Senghenydd branch railmotor; this service lasted for a short period only, ceasing on 5/5/1919." The dates agree, but the geography seems to have gone a bit awry here as well [the Caerphilly to Pontypridd service, perhaps?]. Given that the workmen's service referred to by Kidner would presumably only have been early morning and late afternoon, the two sources are not incompatible.

Incidentally, p104 of this latter book has a 1921 photo showing the PC&N train at Machen "in the sidings", which it isn't, it's on the Caerphilly line just beyond the junction, presumably waiting to make a connection with a B&M train. The nearest vehicle is apparently the ADR's clerestory SRM No2 [so not RR/PC&N], although whether it is still an SRM, converted to an autocoach or just an ordinary coach by then I don't know [the one withdrawn in 1910 was No. 1].

Hope this helps :D
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:44 pm

Hi Rod

I assume this is all connected to your Scale 7 B&M project. Will you be releasing further details soon?
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Re: Rhymney passenger working to Machen

Postby Newport_rod » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:15 pm

Rhobat Bryn wrote:I assume this is all connected to your Scale 7 B&M project. Will you be releasing further details soon?


Well guessed and probably not - please don't hold your breath.
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