Aberdare (Vale of Neath Line) in the 1960s

Timetables, traffic, industries served, operational issues

Aberdare (Vale of Neath Line) in the 1960s

Postby RichardHC » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:13 pm

In the 1950’s and 1960’s I was living near Aberdare. In the early 1960’s I remember seeing, on a regular basis, a large freight train passing in the easterly direction near Trecynon Halt on the Vale of Neath line just to the west of Aberdare (High Level) station. This would have been in the early evening between 6pm and 7pm. I think the train was mostly composed of vans and was unusual (at least to me) in being hauled by a LM 2-8-0 8F locomotive. I think these LMS locomotives started being transferred to South Wales after a large number of GWR locomotives had been withdrawn.
If the train had come from Neath or Swansea if would have required banking from Glyn Neath to Rhigos and if it was heading to Pontypool Road would have crossed the Crumlin Viaduct with any weight restrictions there might have been there.
Can anyone tell me where this train had originated and where it was going to?
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Re: Aberdare (Vale of Neath Line) in the 1960s

Postby Noel » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:44 pm

Swansea Victoria had 8Fs from 1950, allegedly because WR drivers didn't like G2As, although the overlap of dates suggest it was actually the WDs they didn't like, if that was the reason, because they had all moved by the end of 1951. When Victoria closed in 1959, the 8Fs went to Llanelly mostly. "The Vale of Neath Line", Jones and Dunston, Gomer Press has two photos of 8Fs on p197; 48450 [a Stourbridge engine at the time] westbound at Cresselley Crossing in 1964 and 48470 [a Llanelly engine at the time] northbound at Pontypool Road [which could have got there via Newport of course], plus 48330 westbound through Pontypool Clarence street [no date]. The V of N was a red route throughout; 56XX and 94XX [both Red restriction] and 28XX [Blue restriction] certainly worked over Crumlin Viaduct. I'm not sure what the restriction was for the 8F; the loco was well within Blue limits, but the fully loaded tender was not. However, there seems no reason why it should not have been permitted.
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