Tag Archives: South Wales

Some Early Lines – LNWR in South Wales

Some Early Lines

 LNWR in South Wales

Nantybwch on the Abergavenny to Merthyr ‘Heads of the Valleys’ line on 19th August 1950 showing (left) a train arriving from Newport and Tredegar and (right) a train for Abergavenny, both behind the then standard motive power: LNWR 0-6-2 cola tanks.  Trains from Newport terminated here and the locomotives for the branch were shedded at Tredegar. – P.B.Whitehouse

 South Wales plus its coal were magnets which attracted the LNWR very strongly but the problem (with the GWR and the South Wales independents already ensconced) was how to get there.  The company had two main aims, the first to get into Newport and Swansea, the other, black gold.  In the event this was achieved by the construction of the long Central Wales line from Craven Arms on the Shrewsbury to Hereford route, under the Sugar Loaf to Swansea and, by the Heads of the Valleys route from Abergavenny through Brynmawr to Merthyr.  There was a change for Newport at the isolated Nantybwch Junction, trains ran down via Tredegar.  Today it is virtually all gone, with only the Central Wales line open with a desultory passenger service.  It was LNW and GWR joint from Llandovery to Llandilo.

A shot from the footplate of a Fowler 2-6-4 tank on the evening train to Craven Arms approaching Sugar Loaf from Llandovery. – P.B.Whitehouse

A train from Newport and Tredegar about to enter Nantybwch on 19th August 1950 behind LNWR Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58933.  This is a Saturday afternoon strengthened set of four coaches making a heavy load for this small engine up the gradients to the valley head.  The leading vehicle is an old LNWR eliptical roofed non-corridor dating back to the 1890s.  By the look of the peeling paint it had been used on miners’ trains, which did not provide the acme of comfort.

A Bescot (3A) shedded LNWR Super d 0-8-0 No.49064 a long way from home in Nantybwch on 19th August 1950.  Note the tender cab for adverse weather conditions.  The train is an afternoon working from Merthyr to Abergavenny Junction whilst in the branch platform to the left is the connection from Newport behind Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58933.  The first coach is an ex-Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway vehicle.  – P.B.Whitehouse

Abergavenny Junction on 8th September 1952.  Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58888, one of the last two to be steamed, shunts prior to moving up the line to Nantybwch and Brynmawr.  At that date a further eight other coal tanks were ‘stored’ awaiting despatch to Crewe for scrapping. – P.M.Alexander


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1889 – 0-8-0 & 0-8-2T Barry Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1889 – 0-8-0 & 0-8-2T Barry Railway

0-8-0 No.1390 at Barry in 1927

In 1886-8 Sharp Stewart & Co. built twenty 0-8-0 tender engines for the Swedish & Norwegian Railway, a company founded for the transport of iron ore from a mine in Sweden to Narvik on the west coast of Norway, but for some reason they were never delivered, and were left on the maker’s hands.

In 1889 the Barry Railway in South Wales purchased two of them, and they had the distinction of being the first 8-coupled engines of any British railway.  They proved very successful, and as in 1897 two of them were still on hand at the maker’s works, the Barry acquired these also, but not before they had, in the previous year, ordered seven new engines of virtually the same class, but built as tank locomotives.  These were the first 0-8-2Ts ever to run in Britain.  The remaining 0-8-0s had in the meantime found other buyers abroad.

Owing to the small turntables in use on the Barry system, the 0-8-0s had to be fitted with 4-wheeled tenders.  This resulted in the unusual situation of the tender engines having less coal and water carrying capacity than the tank version.  Both classes underwent a few modifications by the Barry, but all passed practically unaltered to the hands of the GWR at the grouping, who in accordance with their usual practice when acquiring engines from another company were quick to ‘Great Westernise’ most of them by fitting them with GWR boiler mountings and chimneys.  The 0-8-0s had been BR Nos.35, 36, 92 and 93, and they became GWR 1387-90.  The 0-8-2Ts were Barry 79-85, renumbered GWR 1380-6.  All were broken up between 1925 and 1930, but it may be mentioned that another South Wales company, the Port Talbot Railway, acquired three 0-8-2Ts of the same design, also from Sharp Stewart in 1901, and one of those, as GWR No.1358, lasted until 1948.

0-8-0 – Driving wheels – 4’ 3”,  Cylinders (2) 18”x 26”,  Pressure – 150 lb.,  Water capacity – 2000 galls,  Coal capacity – 3 tons

0-8-2T – Driving wheels – 4’ 3”,  Cylinders (2) 18”x 26”,  Pressure – 150 lb.,  Water capacity – 2100 galls,  Coal capacity – 3½ tons