Bridgend Valleys Railway
Location (Tondu): 51 32N 3 35W;
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Valley Railway was formed as the Bridgend Valleys
Railway Society (BVRS) in 1988 with the aim of preserving the line which runs through
the Garw Valley in the county of Bridgend. The line is one of three which radiated from
the junction at Tondu: The Ogmore Vale is closed and lifted; the Llynfi Valley branch to
Maesteg was reopened to passengers in 1992; while the Garw was reopened for freight to
carry screened coal from tips in the valley as part of a land reclamation scheme.
The last coal train with mined coal ran in 1986, when the last mine closed, and the last passenger train was a special charter, the “Garw Guru”, which ran on 7th April 1997. Network Rail severed the connection to Tondu at Brynmenyn Level Crossing, just south of Bryngarw Country Park, in 2007.
Groundwork Neath Port Talbot (responsible to Bridgend County Council for the regeneration of the Garw
valley) had negotiated the acquisition of the track bed for use as a Community
Route with cycleway and other leisure activities.
The BVRC achieved a 125 year lease on 4 miles 56 chains of line from Pontycymer
to Brynmenyn and have the commitment to run passenger trains again over this
On March 23 2001, the Welsh Assembly made its first Transport Works Act order in favour of the BVRS, and six days later Railtrack (the company which formerly had charge of the infrastructure of the national railway network) signed over the route to the company, clearing the way for steady progress to opening the line between Pontycymer and Bryngarw Country Park, a distance of about 4 miles. Bryngarw Country Park, which will be the southernmost limit of operations in the medium term, but later it is hoped to extend as far south as Tondu, close to the Arriva Trains Wales station on the route between Bridgend and Maesteg.
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Class 108 DMBS 51919 + DMC 52048
Other rolling stock
BR Mk1 BSO 9010 – currently on loan to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.
DB993721 Brake Van fitted with snowploughs Currently being re- clad and re-roofed.
Hunslet 0-6-0- Pamela awaits a new clack valve.
Planet 3890 was acquired from Hanson Aggregates at Machen Quarry, and has had the bodywork cleaned, derusted and repainted. It is planned to commence a complete overhaul in the near future.
Planet 4006 has been completely rewired and mechanically overhauled with a new cooling system fitted and the cab panel redesigned and upgraded. This loco is now operational.
Membership of the Bridgend Valleys Railway is open to everyone. Membership runs from April to March each year, and current fees are: Adult £10.00; Unwaged and Over 60s £7.50; Children under 16 years of age £2.00.
In December 2008 the Vale of
Glamorgan County Council served notice on the Barry Island Railway to quit its
site at Barry, and remove its locos, rolling stock and other artefacts. Many of
the BIR's locos have been dispersed throughout Great Britain, but some were
retained by the preservation group, and will form the basis of establishing a
presence at Pontycymer.
More details are available on the WalesRails page on the BIR.
How to get there
Pontycymer is served by buses from Bridgend. For details of connecting services, including travel planner and timetables, visit the Traveline Cymru website.
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Copyright © 1996/7/8/9/2000/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 /12/13/14 by Deryck Lewis.
All rights reserved.
Page created July 14 1996; Redesigned March 29 1999; Updated February 15 2014
If you have any suggestions, comments, or glitches to report, please contact the author at WalesRails