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Arriva Trains Wales services on the
Merthyr Tydfil Branch

This  is an extract from the page on Valley Lines. To access the main site select either the Taff Valleys and Cardiff section, the Rhymney Valley, Cardiff and coast section, or the full version which combines the two.
Select one of these links to return to the Gazetteer of Stations or Route Sections page.

Trevithick 1804-2004
February 21 2004 marked the 200th anniversary of the first steam train to run on rails. The historic journey began in Merthyr Tydfil, and throughout 2004, a series of commemorative events took place, which can be reviewed

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The Merthyr Tydfil Branch runs through the upper Taff Valley, and is the oldest line in South Wales, opened by the Taff Vale Railway in 1841.

Please note. The period of validity of the National Network timetables has changed.
Any times and travel details given  apply only for the currency of the timetable valid from May 18 2013 to September 7 2014.

From Merthyr Tydfil, Monday to Saturday services to Cardiff operate half-hourly at 08 and 38 minutes past the hour between 06.38am (except at 10.04am) and 7.38pm, then at 8.38pm, 9.38pm and 10.38pm.
On Sundays, trains run at  two-hour intervals between 9.38am and 9.38pm.

From Cardiff Central, Monday to Saturday, the trains are half-hourly at 26 and 56 minutes past the hour between 5.26am and 6.26pm, then 7.26pm, 8.26pm, 9.27pm and 10.26pm.
On Sundays, trains run at two-hour intervals between 8.26am and 8.26pm.

Special fares and/or timetables will apply to all Valley Line services on event days at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Other stations on the branch (with journey times from Merthyr) are: Pentrebach (3 minutes); Troedyrhiw (6); Merthyr Vale ((9); Quakers Yard (14); Abercynon South (18) and Pontypridd (24). Select here for stations between Cardiff and Pontypridd.

Places of interest...

...on the route include the town of Merthyr Tydfil itself, which has many sites of historic significance such as Cyfarthfa Castle and the Ynysfach engine house. Cyfarthfa Castle houses an art gallery, and the lower forms of the local grammar school, but the latter will be relocated in the next year or so.
Iron working made it the largest town in South Wales, until the late-1840s when the growth of coal mining in the valleys areas led to the development of Cardiff as one of the world's major ports.
It was from the Penydarren ironworks that the world's first steam-hauled train ran in 1804 when ten tons of pig iron and some seventy passengers were hauled nine-and-a-half miles to join the Glamorgan Canal basin at Navigation House (present-day Abercynon). A number of commemorative events took place for the bicentenary in 2004.The tunnel on the Penydarren Tramroad through which Trevithick's locomotive passed in 1804
Near Pentrebach station is the world's first railway tunnel (Stone rail chairs dating from 1804 near Mount Pleasant, Merthyr Valepictured right) through which the Penydarren locomotive hauled its train on its pioneering run. At Tramroad in Merthyr Tydfil and alongside the fire station in Abercynon are monuments commemorating the event; while between Edwardsville (near Quakers Yard) and Mount Pleasant (near Merthyr Vale) it is possible to walk part of the original route which, in places, still has some of the stone rail chairs in situ (pictured left).
Rhydycar Sports Centre at Merthyr offers indoor leisure facilities, while all of the stations on the route give access to the Taff Trail which runs from Cardiff to Brecon. Designed specifically for cyclists and walkers, journeys of any length can be taken by getting off at one station and walking to another. There is a cycle hire facility at Radyr (see Cardiff and Pontypridd section below).
Across the valley from Merthyr Vale station is Aberfan cemetery, which has a memorial to the 144 people (all but 28, children) who lost their lives in October 1966 when the colliery waste tip slid down the mountainside and engulfed the village primary school.
Quakers Yard is a reminder of the Society Of Friends burial ground which was located nearby. The station uses the former Low Level Down platform and serves a mainly residential area. The High Level station was nearer the main road and closed in 1964, when the Pontypool Road to Neath route was axed.
Abercynon also serves residential communities, but there is a sports and leisure centre.

This page is an extract from the Valley Lines pages. To access the main site select either the Taff Valleys and Cardiff section, the  Ebbw Vale (Western Valleys), Rhymney Valley, Cardiff and coast section, or the full version which combines the two.
Select this link to return to the Gazetteer of Stations or Route Sections page.

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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 May 18 2014
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